Type: Single Malt
Region: Islay, Scotland
Average Price: $100
Peat’s Thoughts: Let me start by saying the name of this whisky is misleading. So is the marketing. Hailed as “The darkest Ardbeg ever”, I’m not too sure what constitutes “dark” anymore. I mean, next to the Uigeadail, it looks to be about the same colour, but it’s not as smokey. It’s also said to be matured in “DARK SHERRY CASKS” (I’m capitalising because Ardbeg’s official website did so), yet next to offerings like Aberlour, I don’t get that same intense sherry flavour, nor that ruby red colour. So… what gives? Marketing speak aside though, this limited edition offering from the Islay distillery does deliver on one thing: it’s a bloody magnificent dram! When I raise the glass to my nose, I get whiffs of tobacco and maybe some kind of chocolate, yet I’m almost disappointed in the lack of intense smoke. Don’t get me wrong, the smoke is there, but it seems to play second fiddle. Tasting it though, I get those waves of flavour that make up for any reservations I had earlier. As I said before, this is delicious! More chocolate, and a lovely warmth to it. It also has a surprisingly long finish after it leaves my mouth. With a couple drops of water, the entire experience becomes even smoother. Silky even. Yet it doesn’t diminish that signature Ardbeg feel. While it may not be as bold as I expected, it delivers on every other conceivable note, and that is truly praise that is well deserved. To state the completely understated, I do enjoy this quite a lot.
Huge thanks to Laura from The Baddish Group for the sample.