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This expression of Ardbeg is simply the best single malt Scotch I've had to date. It has all of the best attributes of typical Islay Scotches, but also has a uniqueness all its own that is a pure delight.
The nose is peaty and smoky, with a hint of seaside air after a storm. The palate is complex and unique. There is definitely strong smokiness and the earthy peatiness that comes with Islay whisky. But there is also a subtle fruitiness and even hints of sweetness to it. Then it grows into a lovely (but not at all overwhelming) hotness the endures into the finish. The finish eventually mellows into a salty, briny flavor.
This Scotch is strong and powerful, but worth every penny. It is a great representative of Islay Scotches while also having something to it that sets it apart.