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When I was beginning to explore the single-malt world, I hadn't yet worked my way up to the Peat Giants of Islay when I was introduced by a friend to Ardbeg. Yikes! My first impression was that of a dead pine forest slathered with a layer of Vicks Vapo Rub.
But, as they say, it's like hot peppers: at first you gag, then you learn to appreciate the experience, then you love the taste. Even if, just as with the peppers, you still gag occasionally.
I'd never start the evening with Ardbeg, but I love this big, gutsy whisky. Can't believe I haven't tried the Uigeadail yet, but I plan to invest in a bottle when my supply of 10 yo gets down to a few drams.