Bright, radiant amber. Smoky on the nose, peaty, salty. Unmistakably maritime. In addition Ardbeg tar. Fresh, fine, smoky citrus note. In the background discreet sherry sweets. The nose is intense. Very intensive. Even in the fresh air, this classic Ardbeg fragrance can be seen almost at the entire table.
Here too the peat leads first. A subtle sherry note with subdued influences of orange, red wine and nuts is slowly emerging from the background. This is a very light, never disturbing influence of alcohol. All these influences result in a very coherent overall picture. Incidentally, here the long oxidation and the now very low level may well have helped a bit in the most positive sense. The malt has a well-balanced character and an equally harmonious relationship between the various components. Clean, no discernible notes, especially no sulfur, despite the noticeable sherry influences. Go then.
Finish / Conclusion
Peat ... and behind it ... peat. Massive. Then tobacco leaves, coffee notes - passing in sweet Turkish mocha. Spicy and herbal, but also sweet and smoky - and everything in the finish very intense. Towards the end, tarry ash notes follow, leaving little doubt as to which pot stills our distillate comes from. A, especially for his still quite young age, remarkably successful malt. Bottled in 2003, about fifteen years ago. Again, I know again why I am a fan of the theory of bottle aging for years. It is also noteworthy that such a fine and solid Malt in the Whisky base brings just barely 86 points, while some, with miss notes downright spiked, current Malts almost inflationary from the stand out the 90 points mark. And how did the Prussian Ron Kritzfeld say so well about inflation - 'except prices, it lowers everything.