For me this is a mightily impressive dram. And what impresses me most? Is it's restraint. And it's richness on the palate. The peat is subtle until the very end, when it kicks in and declares itself as a true Ardbeg. Loads of barley sugar, massive, rich oak, borders on being syrupy but the alcohol and peat keeps it all in check. My rating: Ace!
From the lad at Cask Strength:
"Nose: A briney note hits first, with a touch of liniment, a little coal dust and a wee blast of menthol, all bog wrestling for your attention. Underneath, a slight liquorice root develops, with a sweeter tablet/vanilla rich chocolate note, some white pepper and a waft of wood smoke. Palate: The coal notes develop, with salt-crusted barbecued pork, some drying oak notes and a hint of sweet tablet again, backdropped by a luscious coating of smoky hickory wood.
The mouthfeel is rich and unctuous and very easy drinking, despite its strength. Finish: Lengthy iodine and singed BBQ pork give the palate a formidable run for its money. Overall: Boom. This is absolutely sterling stuff, raised from the very bowels of the peat bogs, but with so much more alongside. Whereas last year's Ardbeg Day was a little threadbare in places, this is a full on 15-tog-patchwork-quilt of a whisky, bristling with character."