The marriage works exceptionally well, with the younger whiskies providing the classic Ardbeg intensity many of us have come to expect, while the older whiskies contribute depth, maturity, and complexity. And bottling the whisky at cask-strength without chill-filtration ensures that none of the flavors are stripped out. This is an incredibly complex Islay whisky, with its bonfire smoke, brine, and peppered olive notes balanced by a taming sweetness of vanilla, marshmallow, and toffee. Interwoven notes of candied fruit and sugared almonds round out the palate. Incredibly long finish. (JH, Winter 2004)
Lots of peat sprinkled with Sherry, raisins, bread dough and maritime notes. (JB)
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By: Ren 3/10/2014
I'm usually a Laphroaig guy (cask-strength 10 year is my go-to) but this was a nice little surprise from Islay. Nice and strong, sweet up front, some definite pepper going on along with the usual smoky peat goodness you'd expect. Haven't found something in this price range with this much character.
By: Edem Bev 1/6/2014
Everything a scotch whisky should be. A sumptuous smokiness intertwines wonderfully with the honeyed sherry notes on the palette, in ways you might not expect from an Islay. Outstanding.
By: SmokyBeast 2/1/2013
Nose: "It smells like I'm on the island of Islay standing next to a smoking heap of peat!" "Grapefruit, honey, hot pepper." Very intriguing nose sets up high levels of anticipation for the first sip. <br><br>Body (neat): Amazingly smooth for the high alcohol content. Deep rich smoke, multiple layers of peat. Very rich milk chocolate mocha. Wow, can this really be 54.2%?? It's far and away the smoothest high-test whisky we've ever tasted. <br><br>Finish: Sweet candy (salt water taffy?), black licorice, even more layers of peat smoke. Very little burn, the heavy alcohol content is covered almost completely by the serious smoke. And at the very end, just a tiny hint of raisins reminiscent of the sherry cask. <br><br>Second taste (with a dose of water - more than a drop, less than a splash) - Opens up with more of the grapefruit and hot red pepper. Amazingly smooth now, actually all it needs is a few drops. Keeping it's body and strength through a splash of water, or a single small ice cube, this is an immensely drinkable dram.<br><br>-smokybeast.com (weekly whisky reviews)
By: cato 8/6/2011
Nose: Sweet peat, smoke, dark chocolate<br>Palate: (add water), sweet intro, smooth middle, blast of peat/smoke<br>Finish: Dry, long, fruit, peat, camp fire<br>Overall: Wonderful dram!
By: TitleTownJake 4/4/2010
If you enjoy a robust, peaty, smokey, single malt, you will love this one. My all-time favorite scotch. Since it is cask strength at 55%, you only need a wee dram. You will tell your friends about this one. Memorable!