If you like 'em peaty and earthy and smoky and, well, beasty -- this one's for you. Of course that's all underpinned by the characteristic Ardbeg sweetness. There's a richness and complexity here that keeps me always remarking how much I like the bottle. Stuff that tastes like this usually costs 3 times as much. Yum yum yum! (~2006)
PEAT!!!! There's very few whiskies you'll taste that are anything like this. A simply remarkable nose - peat, terpentine, and then there's sweet fruit! At first taste, it's oily, very peaty, but surprisingly well-balanced. Some fruit comes later, and there's a long, enjoyable finish. This is a huge, extraordinarily-peated scotch that manages not to overwhelm. Highly recommended.
This keeps impressing me more and more. It's like candied peat. You could sell this on snowcones it's so tasty. Great nose that hints at great things to come. At $80ish this is a fantastic bang-for-your-buck. The best Ardbeg in that category, in my opinion.
Retaste 4/17/11 Well, time changes everything. I still love it, but it's not an A-. Also, I'm leaning Corryvreckan now.
Another great Ardbeg and little can be added to the comments above. I love the aditional sweetness out of this than you get in the 10 year. Head to head, this is simply darker and sweeter but all the smoke and earth is there. Well done but not what Jim Murry says .....
I did a head to head on 3 different bottles of this (L8,L9,L10) and all I can say is this stuff is consistent. I took a very very long time nosing and tasting all 3 consecutively to find very small differences. All had the nice sharp BIG peat, smoke and bbq notes wth very subtle differences.
L8- Had more citrus fruits on the nose but was sweeter on the palate with a long sticky finish
L9-This had more sherry presence but the sherry was stale
n: earty peat with leather and strawberry marmelade. Rich and nice red fruit sweetness to balance the soot and phenols.
t: starts raspberry juice and caramel sweet, and as time passes it gets more smoky and then salty. Maple wood smoked bacon on dark toasted wheat bread with light strawberry jam. I love how this evolves - oily and dense with great well-rounded flavours makes this a favourite of mine.