Peated Single Malt
Ardbeg // Islay, Scotland
GiantMicrobeTastedOverall: Luxurious, definitely Ardbeg, interesting chocolate notes, reminds of Uigeadail Color: Light amber Nose: Salted meats, lime rind, soft buttery chocolate or fudge, peat smoke, hay, minty notes, water brings out salt and more peat Body: Full and smooth Taste: Smooth sweet peat smoke, citrus, dark chocolate with salt and spices, and licorice Finish: Long, dark chocolate, fragrant peat, creamy notes, pepper, and menthol Score: 88
Dreaming-of-IslayTastedMy wife and I enjoyed a glass of this at Golden Promise in Paris, which must be one of the best whiskey bars in the world (1,000+ bottles). Ardbeg's annual special releases around Ardbeg Day (the actual date, not this whisky) are now a regular feature of the scotch landscape. This whisky kicked off the tradition in 2012 with a cask-strength release for Feis Ile, one that featured scotch aged in the sherry casks that formerly held Ardbeg Uigeadail. It's an interesting and unusual cask choice for Ardbeg, as the use of a refill cask will not impart the same intense, fruity, rich flavors as a new sherry cask does. Conveniently for Ardbeg, it also gave them something to do with used casks. The result is a substantial but gentle giant of a whisky. On the nose, cereal grain, smoke, and tons of leather exude from the glass. There's also some lemon rind, which is an Ardbeg signature. The palate is an orchestral combination of minerality and gravelly peat, vanilla fudge, cream, and a rich malt flavor. The smoke weaves in and out of this one, and I'd guess that it's aged in the range of 12 years or so based on its slightly reduced intensity. The finish is hickory smoke and lingering sweetness, and it lasts and lasts. Among the Ardbeg special releases, which can be hit-or-miss, Ardbeg Day is one of the best I've tried.
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