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Let me start off by saying that I am not the biggest Ardbeg fan. There are 2 of their bottlings that I am quite fond of: Beist and Alligator. The others I have had are not bad, just not repeat purchases for me. Not wanting to make the same costly mis-step I did with the Galileo, I only bought 1 bottle on release to try first. That is what I am finishing up tonight.
Initial aromas are salt and rancid meat. I must be a jackal then, because it is making me salivate. A bit, can I say, "Laphroaigy" too. Peat and smoke come later, along with some deeply buried butterscotch. Very mercurial nose. I could spend some time with this one. More sweets like nougats and vanillas come out with some time in the glass.
I hold the first sip, let it coat my mouth before swallowing. Not as drying or numbing as I would have expected. While there is some sweetness, it finishes dry and salty. A bitterness clings to the roof of my mouth. The numbness, while slow to arrive, begins to take hold. As my mouth numbs, the sweet notes begin to outshine the salinity. There is something nutty about this whisky too. Not nutty like crazy, nutty like almonds. Finishes dry, and could be longer...
That was a pretty good bottle for drinking, but a great one for nosing. Pricey? Yeah, but what the hell isn't these days? So, I picked up a few more to lay down. This is an Ardbeg I would like to revisit in the future. I'd say buy one and try it.