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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