Review: Ardbeg Supernova SN2015

Review: Ardbeg Supernova SN2015

ardbeg supernova 2015By now you have probably had your fill of news about how Ardbeg sent some whisky into space and how it became a magical superspirit after three years in microgravity. 2015’s Supernova bottling — Ardbeg’s mega-peated expression — is being released in honor of these findings. (Remember: There is no actual space whisky in the bottle.) What you might have missed amongst the hubbub is that SN2015 is the final release of Supernova. I don’t know if that really means there will never be another Supernova release (distilleries are awful about that whole “never say never” thing), but for now, it’s your last chance to get your mitts on this heavily peated and highly coveted spirit.

There’s no real production information provided for this year’s whisky, so let’s just dive in.

On the nose, peat smoke starts things off as expected, but with an undercurrent of maple syrup and orange marmalade. As with most Supernova releases, the body is composed of a mix of pungent smoke, iodine and sea spray, and preserved fruits. The finish evokes bacon and some chocolate notes.

For 2015 the overall level of sweetness is in regimented, pacing the smokiness of the whisky step for step. Despite the 100ppm of phenols, it’s not a peaty blowout, nor is it sherried into oblivion. All told, it comes across not unlike any number of highly peated whiskies on the market  — well crafted and full of flavor, but ultimately short on uniqueness to the point of vague anonymity.

Can it be that after all these years, Supernova will not go out with an interstellar bang as promised — but will rather simply fade away?

108.6 proof.

B / $200 /

Ardbeg Supernova SN2015





  1. Chad on October 31, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I decided to go against your review and pick this up when I saw it for $139 at Total Wine. It’s maybe the best scotch I’ve ever had. The finish goes on forever…at least 2 minutes. And I’ve tasted numerous Whiskies from $100-600. It’s a big whisky and I like big whisky’s like the PC series. I could see someone making the case for the money it’s not much better than Corryvreckan or Uigeadail, so not a great value. I personally prefer it over both of those due to the chili pepper spice explosion, and long finish, but I could see how someone’s palate may prefer the gentler standard Ardbegs. My point is, I really have a problem with reviewers who talk down a whisky due to price. Say it’s expensive, maybe not worth the money…fine. However, if you don’t think this on par at least with Uggy and Corryvreckan your nuts. And I’d bet my bottom boot you glowed abut those whisky’s in your past reviews.

  2. Chad on October 31, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I just poked around your site. It appears you like the gentler Ardbegs like Perpettum and Auriverdes. I’m thinking price wasn’t your issue but big whisky’s just aren’t your thing. I would recommend you watch the you tube review by liquor hound. It’s so much more helpful when a reviewer is able to distinguish his own bias and let reviewers know that. For instance, if I was reviewing this I would rate very high but let reviewers know it might not be there thing if they don’t like big whisky’s. You make statements that sound factual versus your preference, like “fading away” and “vague.”

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