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Ardbeg Alligator

...Was left wanting something more

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@ssmith84Review by @ssmith84

13th Dec 2011


Ardbeg Alligator
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

When I first got this bottle I was extremely excited and promised myself that I would wait to open it for some special occasion. Well got a decent raise at work and decided the stress of two weeks prior would only be relieved by the bite of an Alligator, and this is what I think...

nose... On the nose there is peat, smoke, and a strange earthy salt ever so common in the Islay malts. It has a bit of a bite that I'm unsure of. Almost makes me think it may be a bit young. Water did not add much to the nose. There was the faint addition of a sweetness that I can't put my nose on.

palate... Strong peaty/earthy flavor and a briny taste that i really like. There is a sizzling bbq taste that comes from the new heavily charred bourbon barrels that they have used to make this whisky unique from their other bottlings. The smoke is nice and pleasent. With water a soft sweet New York Vanilla note seemed to poke it's head out. It was a much valued improvement over the intense peat monster that seemed to lacked in complexity before.

finish... The finish has a bit of a burn on my tongue, but it is smooth going down. A medium length finish, very phenolic and a little ashy, not quite as long as I would have liked. Nothing substantial changed in the finish after the addition of water. The burn was slightly lessened.

The addition of water seemed to help open the whisky into a slightly gentler creature. It was an improvement overall on the taste. The nose didn't seem to change much and the most disappointing feature, the finish, was not helped at all. Overall, I liked the nose and loved the taste, but the finish lowered the whole experience for me.

At the price point I think it was a little too expensive for the whisky in the bottle. I may have been expecting far too much from it but I felt cheated for the money I spent. Price was about the same as a Lagavulin 16yo that has never let me down.

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