Edition C of the threesome comes sans peat and with an additional year of age. 163 bottles at an ABV of 57.1%. A real counterpoint to the heavily edition.
Nose: Golden cereals and frosted shreddies join crisp, crunchy sugar, green apple spices and yeasty dough. Peppery Nasturtium flowers and spicy brown bread pep things up alongside damp soils and old musty cellars. Reduction delivers crackerbread, toasted loaf and old sack cloth.
Taste: A collision of sharp, bright fruits and a now more present smoke. Apples in syrup, white grapes, cereals and cask char join touches of cloth and wire wool, whilst wet soils and mentholated oak develop into a dry earthy minerality that underpins the development. The addition of water reveals lemon peels and tart apples alongside fermenting beer. I really rather like this taken down a notch.
Finish: Short to medium with dry, slightly tannic smoke and crunchy sugars.
The most overly youthful of Sponge’s Ardnamuchan trio – with the absence of peat there’s nothing to hide behind. Nevertheless whilst breads, dough and yeasty notes do signify a certain sense of adolescence – here their focus has become part and parcel of the expression itself. And I rather like that.