Nose of smoke and musty leather. Palate very smooth for the alcohol content, sweet and easy. At first seems sweet yet underwhelming, but then the smoke creeps in and crescendoes into an intense smoky-sweet finish that goes on and on and on. Purely delightful, and hugely flavorful without ever getting tiresome.
Oh wow. The most unique whisky I've tasted to date. A musty nose, reminiscent of the scent of morning dew after a campfire. Hints of fruit as well, but the nose doesn't reveal what you're about to taste, which is incredible. An oily texture, starts with wood, hints of sweet, then smoke and peat take over, and it's hot! The taste truly changes and reaches an amazing crescendo. The finish lasts for ages, very warm and peppery. Pretty remarkable
I have tried this several times but always when I was unable to really evaluate it other than to say "wow." The hype always turned me off a bit and made me skeptical that my "wow" was always self fulfilling.
My most recent experience was different and I actually was able to soberly focus and must to my palate's delight - this really is one of the best widely released bottles I have ever tried. Most that compare are small batch or single casks.
This also has some of the most unique flavors that aren't just the standard earthy peat that Ardbeg is famous for. This is deep and diverse. Many things going on all at once with the peaty oak and briney almost pruney notes in the background.