A Mean Ardbeg
Review by @vanPelt
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Nose: Briny leather strikes you at first pour; rubbery kind of peat that eventually fades to that lemon pudding impression. Behind this arrives a fresh garden rhubarb, or the bitter skin of a fruit. Then you realize this fruit is stewing into a compote, mulling along with smooth sweetness of orange peels and some cinnamon and ginger. A continued waft can pull out salty toffee or butterscotch.
Palate: Immediate attack of pepper-brine-leather... turning tangy (bittermelon)... noticeably collapsing to tobacco-vanilla mellowness... and this finally followed by subtleties: first liquorice, then pepper.
Finish: Long, with the pepper fading into vanilla & nut, the nut with a hinted bitterness found in almonds or apricot pits. The peat adds some tobacco to this, and then there is a sensation, not like barbecue sauce but like I have just eaten some a minute ago.
I think many would wonder how this contrasts with the Uigeadail; it is clear from most descriptions that both are smoky, fruity, and spicy. Compared to Uigeadail, the Alligator is more challenging: relatively less sweet and more bitter; less vanilla softness and more toffee saltiness; less red and more orange; and the peat is less ash and more leather. So sweet/vanilla/red/ash -> bitter/toffee/orange/leather, in relative terms. It is comparatively unbalanced, with more salty, tangy, and bitter notes. Then again, compared with the Corryvreckan (salt/maple/lemon/ash), the Alligator is actually less salty and a little more of sweet/bitter. In this way, the Alligator might be considered to fall between the Uigeadail (sweeter and rounder) and the Corryvreckan (saltier and sharper).
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1/2 Year later: The nose is still briny and rubbery, but it has lost some of the smoke. The palate is sweeter: that entrance now has some toffee, and the palate now gives the impression of juicy sweet oranges that have been salted and blackened on the grill. The finish is unfortunately duller now and dry with liquorice. But for the improved palate experience alone, I would bump this up a notch to 87.
9 years ago 0