The nose gives you the expected blast of peat but with some rich background aromas, even some wine notes. The palate starts with coal and smoke along with some sweetness followed by a strong salty/briny note and a bit of bitterness on the way down. The finish is smoky sea air. Water gives it an oily, syrupy mouthfeel and dilutes some of the salt and brine, making it taste more traditionally Ardbeg-like.
This one is big and bold. It doesn't have much balance but that isn't why you drink it anyway. Despite the new charred oak barrels that one of its component whiskies was aged in, I don't detect a lot of wood. Rough around the edges but fun to try.
N: Nectary peaty nose, bordering on old school. Definitely some garage smells. P: Wow. I really like this profile. Quite fruity actually, citrus, and then marshmallow. Kinda creamy mouth feel. F: All peat, no smoke, just the way I like it. I am impressed by the quality of the distillate coming out of Ardbeg these days, top notch stuff.
This is good whisky. But please stop doing this NAS stuff every year. I still haven't finished my Supernovas and Rollercoaster and Corrywhirlpool. I still love you, but I didn't buy a bottle of this. And, I'm not buying next year's probably-named-after-a-mystical-waterfall-release unless it truly merits a new, distinctly different expression of Ardbeg. This one's just a slight variation on a theme.
P.S. Some tasting notes... Nose: hello, smoke! But in a welcome way, it doesn't kick down my door, and it's carrying a little bouquet of flowers. And a little bacon in its pocket. Invitingly sweet, nice nose.
Hey this is tasty! Surprisingly quite sweet, honeyed, and of course smokey. Not so earthy-peaty as much as smokey. There's that bacon again in the finish.
n: peat smoked wet green grass. Intense char nose and smoked salmon. Very heavy on phenols (plastic and medicinal).
t: vanilla peat smoke and charred fat on a BBQ. Waxy mouthfeel with a tinge of grey seasalt and plastics. Has a waxed dried fruit element and iodine in the middle. A solid, more rounded Ardbeg with a sweeter BBQ meat smoke to it in the finish.