At the beginning of ADOS-Week there was already Islay South Coast, also 12 years old. As is so often the case with A Dream of Scotland, a Lagavulin, confirmed by the year 1816. That is missing here. The look of the label is kept green. And if you don't claim at another distillery, in Warehouse No. 3 live a dragon whose breath of fire ennobles the barrels? And in the sub, could that be Shortie, the distillery mascot? Respect if Marco Bonn has succeeded in bottling an Ardbeg here.
This is South Islay, the smoke is powerful and not coming from a warm glowing fire. Here it smokes and smolders, here the dragon spits his fire and has previously devoured all kinds of sea creatures. Good thing Shortie is protected in the sub. But there are also fruits, ripe honeydew melon with thyme and cardamom. And the damned dragon actually breathes a slightly sulphurous pestilence into the warehouse.
While Ardbeg is often rather puristically tart, the Oloroso here has a slightly sweet and winey warmer note with dry wild apricots, very dry figs and some cinnamon with cardamom and a few leaves of thyme. Served with candied nuts. And then comes the taste of sulphur. Luckily, it only flashes briefly and then reconnects with the other aromas. Is it an enrichment or could the flavors combine for a better experience without the sulphur? I'm leaning towards the second statement and believe that the sulfur detracts somewhat from the overall experience.
The aftertaste is a tart bitter note, some wood, a touch of pestilence and a wonderfully polarizing smoke.
This is a wonderful South Islay Whisky whose tarry smoke is enhanced by tart dark chocolate. Unfortunately, there is also annoying sulphur, which fortunately is too weak here to destroy the whisky.
The Brühl whisky house often bottles wonderful whiskys. However, the Islay bottlings are always the front runners. The combination of smoke and finish in the strong wine cask gives beautiful results. This is also a wonderful whisky, which is not smoothed out by the sherry cask, but gets new, strong aspects. Without sulfur he would probably have scored over 90 points.