Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry Casks
The nose starts off with a subtle citrus note, but is immediately displaced by smoke, peat, bitumen and ash. In addition, some sweet toffee, accompanied by green bell pepper and herbs. A powerful nose with a hint of medicinal notes, antiseptic with adhesive tape.
Powerful and warming on the palate with a distinct peppery spiciness. In addition, smoke, tar and anise, accompanied by salted caramel and menthol. Towards the finish slightly sweet bacon notes with a touch of sea salt.
The finish is long and dry with peppermint, cloves and warming peat smoke.
After the addition of a few drops of water, there are clearly more notes of bitumen, tar and green bell pepper, with a hint of toffee. Somewhat tamed on the palate, yet still very peppery and also a bit tangy on the tongue with paprika, menthol, dry ash, anise and some caramel. The finish is still long, but becomes even drier with ash, clove and a slight sea breeze.
With this bottling, there are indeed some points of discussion for me. A well-made whisky in itself, but I personally miss the sweetness and the Ardbeg typical citrus notes. What remains are lots of spices and dry ash notes with smoke and peat. The influence of the sherry casks used is, if at all, only marginal to me. The 5-year-old Ardbeg Wee Beastie has convinced me more.
Moët Hennessy Germany for the complimentary sample and the image!