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If there’s one distillery that can marry peat and sherry beautifully, it’s Ardbeg. I mean, who doesn’t like the Oogie? But here’s the Ardbog, the widely anticipated annual release from 2013. It’s a ten year old whisky that’s been matured in both bourbon and Manzanilla sherry casks. If nothing else, this is one of the most unique and mouth-pickling Ardbegs to be had.
Nose: Initially shy, but water and time help. Salt, indistinct sherry, green apples, blood orange, pine. A young tinge to this.
Palate: Very salty. These briny notes almost pickle the tongue. Chocolate, sherry, red fruit, earth, damp leaves.
Finish: Indistinct sherry, chocolate, green apple, wine tannin, paprika, pepper, fennel, minerals. Long and drying.
Certainly one of the more unique Ardbegs out there. The drying effect is powerful and distinctive. But it does taste a touch young, and the sherry and peat don’t work as harmoniously as they do with the Uigeadail. Although it’s well layered and extremely coastal, for me it’s more interesting than it is brilliant. All things considered, I prefer the core range. Pricey, but definitely a cool one to try.