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There's always a sense of excitement for all Ardbeg fan around June of every year. Because that's the time when Ardbeg unveils its much anticipated release of that year. This year (2013) it's the Ardbeg Ardbog - so named after the peat bogs that provide that familiar Ardbeg flavor.
Let me tell you something. There is simply no other nose quite like this one. It is absolutely sublime. Not just because it's delicious but because it is constantly changing the longer you leave it in the glass.
There is first the familiar tar with the tiniest hint of burnt rubber sprinkled with a delicate puff of soot. The sweetness comes through next on the back of light chocolate-y citrus and a layering of delicate caramel. Don't go yet because there is fresh grapes mulched with tiny sprigs of coriander next. Leave it longer and it becomes even more sweet. More daring if you like. The chocolate becomes more pronounced. The honey becomes darker and takes on a maple syrup quality. I have yet to come across a nose that is as complex as this one.
The palate is sweet fortified wine mixed with a lemony limestone consistency. It is smoky, peaty with finely chopped herbs and the tiniest hint of dank cardboard. Not in a bad way, mind you. Mull it longer and lovely chocolate cake dusted with cinnamon powder comes out next.
The strong oily finish is full of cloves and star anise rounded off with coffee beans and wood shavings.
This is a lovely dram and needs your undivided attention.