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I have been highly entertained by the reactions to Ardbeg Galileo since its release 1 September 2012, and have enjoyed waiting to review the new Ardbeg Ardbog for a nearly-full 3 months since its release June 1, 2013. Galileo had the audacity to be really winey, by Ardbeg standards. Some loved it, others were horrified by it. Some could not forgive it; at least one panel named it Finest Malt Whisky of the Year. Ardbog is, thankfully, a little less divisive,...by virtue of its being a little bit less winey.
Nose: strong intensity; usual Ardbeg peaty/smokey briney flavours; hint of wine. Very nice.
Taste: intense, pointed Ardbeg bite to set the stage...this alone makes Ardbog more acceptable to most than was Galileo. The usual Ardbeg flavours resume after the inital 'bite", in a very fulsome and flavourful way. Sweet, but, as is usually the case with Islay whiskies, not too sweet. The wine begins in a small way, at first, until the...
Finish: ...wine takes over. Nice wine, but the other flavours stay strong, so that no one is too frightened that the Ardbeg profile has been lost. What would happen to us all if malt lovers lost faith in Ardbeg? Ragnarok. You Norse members know what that is.
Balance: Very nice whisky. Others like it. So do I. Not particularly unusual, but solid. Quite solid.