‘Demure and circumspect yet utterly gluggable’
N: Im suitably primed for this. It follows two poor-mediocre Tamnavulin palate levellers followed by one most inspiring Dufftown WB - so lets begin. Just as i was waxing lyrical about the Dufftown, this Islay malt is displaying on the nose the beautifully crafted and sublimely soft yet all encompassing depth one only finds from a well matured and vatted whisky - the complexity of which shouldn’t be lost to its subtlety. Besides its softness, it has the whole jammy, bitter=sweet, smoky umami ‘thang’ going on and beholds the power of a Siren’s call, “drink me’!
T: Sweet/savoury/oily/medicinal oily-buttery-[low-level] peat with the grain therefore never lost in the mix - but boy is it soft [not gossamer soft] and watery, like waxy tea or a very thin oily soup. What of details though: oodles of vanillas, lemonade lollies, liquorice, tequila, dryish tobacco and melt-in-your-mouth butter-barley, wow! Theres a soft but subtle beauty to this older style Ardbeg, something that the bold, modern 10yo can’t touch - the peat [and depth] very much in the background in comparison.
F: Its soft/sweet/fresh nature encompass the bitter, oily oak. Benign but sustaining, non-peat-heavy finish, with buttery-vanilla-barley that will sustain you for the remainder. Even if the abv is in question, the balance is unquestionably fabulous albeit within a largely cohesive & vatted, self contained expression.
C: Demure and circumspect [Bunna 18?] marks it down significantly, yet the melt-in=your-mouth delivery can’t be overlooked. Theres no doubting the allure of this whisky but you’ll be paying a large premium to find out [TWE £350 Sept ’15]. It is undeniably however one of the most gluggable whisky’s you may ever meet.
Scores a B