There’s so much depth, so much going on. I couldn’t do it justice in written form. At the same time, it’s so easy to drink. The peat is soft but with this understated intensity. The phrase “old-school” is thrown around a lot, but this is certainly an old-school peated whisky. Delicious.
Nose: Loads of earthy Ardbeg smoke, more than expected. Seawater, rocks, leather, earth, and peat smoke. It just smells ancient. Musty earth, ink, seaweed, roasted peanuts, toasted sesame oil, and dried oregano. Crayons? There’s a surprising soft fruity side as well: Pineapple, dragonfruit, baked apples, pears, and strawberries. Just a hint of sherry. Sweet caramel and milk chocolate in the middle. With time in the glass an earthy malt/bread note emerged, along with more savoury flavours and black tea.
Palate: Medium-thick and quite oily. Soft and ancient. Citrus pith and red grapes, then sweet heathery peat, sea-salted caramel, and milk chocolate. The development is extremely extended. Some sherry emerges here, along with ash, oak, and loads of savoury dark notes that are all going on at once.
Some water helps clear things up. There’s a bit more ash now, along with tropical fruit flavours of pineapple, coconut, and papaya. There’s lots of dark chocolate, warm spices, and a strong tobacco note. Some barbequed meat appears here, with mixed peppercorns.
Finish: Long and rich, an extension of the development. Black pepper, nori, dried herbs (mustard seeds?), and black tea. Lots of wood sugars and earth, with a bit of soy sauce.
Water helped bring everything together. There’s blackberries, apples, and dark chocolate. More of that musty element.