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Nose: Sharp and sweet nose. Super sweet high tones here: soprano. It is sharp, singes the nose hairs, and dances off . . . lovely. The sweet tone is strong, but underneath is an alto pitch of sour to give it an interesting balance. The peat is down in the baritone range with the smoke acting like a bass . . . a presence that is felt more then heard.
There is some earth, tar, peat, coal, tree bark, and wet fence post. A bit of fruit cake if you really search. Now it turns malty and cookie dough-ish with some chocolate. There is a very fascinating balance of road asphalt and sweetness – earth and sea. Now the fruit: yellow nectarines, lemons, and white peaches. Now the sweetness is turning chocolate-ish . . . and now it is turning creamy. This is by far the most elusive and dramatically changing nose of the night: it never seems to sit still. Now it is back to smoky ash. It is probably because this is a freshly opened bottle for this tasting. It has been in the glass for almost an hour now (with a lid on it) and every time I check back in things change around. Formaldehyde, leather straps, and now blueberries and jam . . . now oregano and herbs emerge along with lemon zest and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Over all this has a wonderful range of flavors and seems ever changing . . . but this nose doesn’t create any mental images or take me anywhere like the L11 028, L10 151 or the L11 147. So super complex . . . but other batches were more enjoyable.
Taste: High sweetness mixes with sour: semi-sweet chocolate covered cherries, lemon rind, black earth, tree bark, seaweed, oak, and peat bog. Interesting balance of super tart and sweet: peat and smoke: salt and wood. Turns to lemon and sea salt. This is a nice decent Ardbeg.
Finish: Big intake of breath . . . now comes the wave . . . not as big as I had expected but it is powerful and peaty. Now the waves come in. It is one wave after another; each growing more and more powerful - like the tide coming in. This is a super-long finish. Tons of flavors happening: seaweed, sea spray, charred oak, peat moss, leather, white sand, lemon, and hints of fish. Tons of peat, salt, and light fruit: smoked nectarines, pears, and lemon rind. Very much a peat, fruit, and smoke ordeal with the obligatory sea salt . . . that goes on and on.
Complexity, Balance: One of the more complex Uigeadails. Very elusive: all these interesting smells and notes behaving in some kind strange dance. Not as well balanced as some of the others. Everything seems to be in an epic battle . . . or slam dancing, but then I tend to like that in a whisky . . .
Aesthetic experience: Close in color to the L11 028 but a hair lighter.