Ardbeg An Oa

Peated Single Malt — Islay, Scotland

Tasted March 5, 2020
3.5 out of 5 stars
When first poured, peat dominates — trademark Ardbeg peat, earthy, medicinal, herbaceous, full, with notes like struck match and cigar ash — but give it a little time in the glass and the unmistakable whiff of sherry emerges as peaty smokiness is dialed down. In the palate it opens up with a dab of sherried sweetness, followed by strong smoky peat as described above, and then by a little more sweetness and a finish rich in black pepper. Good whisky but a bit jarring in the sense that the sherry and peat influences seem to clash at times, rather than evolve into the harmony you see in Laphroaig Lore or Edradour Ballechin. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there you go.