This is a dram of the extremes and it suits very well to the Ardbeg distillery. Shy away if you cannot stand bold flavours and an I-punch-that-in-ya-face attitude. I find it very interesting but to be honest, I would not ask for a second dram on the same evening (but surely some days later)...
The colour is tawny and the texture shows many small tears that consolidate and build slow legs. The nose is like standing on a highway near the ocean shore when they renew the tar on a hot summer day. This is what I call a bold nose - quite extreme but I like it.
The taste again is a straight punch to your taste buds but if you like the extremes you will adore it. It is a nice mixture of tarry, peaty, sherry and some fruity flavours - not too complex but astonishingly balanced.
The whisky arrives rich on the palate but with a minor coating effect only and some astringent bitter moments from the heavy tannins of the sherry cask. The finish is of medium length and gets a little bitter at the end (as so often with heavily sherried drams). Water turns the whisky much more medicinal (iodine and the like) as if you chew the content of a waste bin in a hospital - worth a try but I am sure not everybody likes it...