Whisky Review – Ardbeg Ardbog

Ardbeg Ardbog
52.1%ABV
Non-chilled filtered
No added colour
Cask strength
Unavailable at retail prices. Only available for premium or at auction.

Nose.

Dry barbecue leaf fire smoke. Some charred bacon bits. Thick toffee. Some chewy honey notes. Dried dark fruits. A little Christmas cake in the background. Pepper. And some curry like spices. Cardamom probably.

Palate.

Quite fruity. Much fruitier than the nose suggests. Berries and Rum and raisin like initially, but then the peat sweet earth notes and some salt come into the development. More earth and grass then dominates. It’s not as hot as the ABV would suggest and quite smooth. Lots of pepper throughout. Very oily and thick mouthfeel.

Finish.

A winey fruit aftertaste initially, salt, giving way to some drying oak and a little sawdust. Winter berries stick around til the very end of this reasonably long finish.

Adding water.

The nose becomes much fruitier at the expense of some of the smoke, making it more balanced. The fruit is dominated around the winter berries with a little sherry notes also present. The mouthfeel is less oily, but still remains a mouthcoater of an oily dram. The flavour profile very similar as undiluted, but with more balance. A warming finish, still with buckets of fruit, and a little earthy moss sweet grass mid/end finish. Definitely one to water to even the dram out and provide more complexity, balance and enjoyment factor.

Conclusion.

I really like this expression of Ardbeg. Not quite as much as I enjoyed Galileo, but it is still a very nice dram I will spend a good amount of time with. Now. The big question is is it as good as, better/worse than something like Uigeadail. Well, I haven’t spent a lot of time with Uigeadail, but I intend to soon to help answer that very question.

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Whisky Review – Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year old.

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year old.
Port Pipe Finish
46%ABV
Non-chilled filtered
£41.45 from MasterOfMalt

Colour.

A lovely little ruby hue to the dark amber colour.

Nose.

Port! Behind a layer of thick toffee is the port influence of the finishing on this dram. There is some berry fruit soaked oak. A touch of vanilla in the background. A smidge of bitter honey is barely noticeable. The fruit of the port dominates the beautiful nose. Red berries a plenty, all stewed together and delectable.

Palate.

A massive fruity burst in the forefront, developing into more fruit, with pepper, a little toffee and oak. Red-currents. Strawberries blackberries. All combined in a melting pot with that touch of toffee chewy sweetness. It is a very chewy dram, mouth coating, warming and perfect for winter, chilly nights.

Finish.

Fruity fruity fruity. It’s all about the fruit and there is buckets of it in this dram, it’s so smooth as well, completely easy drinker even at the bottled strength of 46%. The finish actually goes on for a good while, always fruity, with more of the drying oak coming through long after finishing that sumptuous sip.

Adding water.

With a splash of water the nose gives a little more oak, and a touch of dustiness with that oak. The fruit remains in abundance. While the mouthfeel is slightly diminished, the flavours come more alive in the diluted form, there is a slight salty edge to the palate now, a little more vanilla and honey, with the fruit slightly quietened down. The finish is slightly drier. For me, this is 2 different drams with or without water, both options work. With a splash this dram gives off more complexity and allows for longer trips of discovery. Without, it’s a truly rich and glorious dram to warm the chilled cockles on a winters eve.

Conclusion.

I haven’t tried many port matured whiskies. But I increasingly want to try more. Thy laphraoig is the only previous port matured I had tried, and was very nice indeed, a little more challenging than this dram, but then again, with this drams less complexity, it makes for easier enjoyability. So far, this is the favourite of mine from the Glenmorangie camp.

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