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Nose: Peat, lime, cream and vanilla. The vanilla suggests a vatting of very fresh ex-bourbon casks (in this case from Jack Daniels). The citrus is stronger and more astringent then what I consider typical Ardbeg. I would say more on the lime side then the lemon side of things. And there is this soft creaminess to the nose as opposed to the dark bog you can often get. The peat is much more in the background covered up by the citrus and vanilla. Smoke is creeping out around the edges. I know after some time this will get smokier. Sweet vanilla and lime cream with smoke and salted capers. Strong sweetness from the vanilla is almost a high tenor in tone.
Water really dampens the vanilla and brings up the peat smoke. Still plenty strong. Decent standard Ardbeg nose with peat smoke and citrus. Nothing deep, mind blowing, or amazing.
Taste: Nice creamy vanilla and lime mixed with peat; now some smoke and capers are coming out. An alder plank smoked trout with caper berries! A little more rounded then I like my Ardbeg TEN.
Finish: Nice Ardbeg intake of breath . . . here comes the wave of sea salt and peat. Medium to medium low wave. Not the big Uigeadail, Corry, or Supernova tidal wave I have come to love. A decent finish all things told. Nothing overwhelming; but still Ardbegy. The creamy lime really leaves a mark. Not my favorite “new” Ardbeg tone.
Complexity, Balance: Decent balance for the 10yo. Not the most complex by any means, but about what you would expect from a standard 10yo. The problem is I have come to expect WAY more from Ardbeg then this is showing.
Aesthetic experience: Very light straw color. I love the label, the shape, the color of the bottle, the ABV, the ncf, and the traditional “A."