Nose: Straight up “Ardbeg” right away. Lemons sprinkled with seasalt, fishy peatsmoke, seabreeze, ozone, road tar, burnt twigs, pineneedles, incense, wet earth, mushrooms, hints of px-sherry emerge, a dry tobacco pouch, old leatherjacket, beef stock and some plumjam. Love this nose!Mouth: Ardbeg! Peaty and savoury, menthol cough medicine, slightly chemical (in a good way). Reminds me of Fishermens Friends, of whom I’m addicted to (the green ones, of course). The sherry comes through in the chocolaty and mentholated finish. Not too complex, but everything sings in tune, so to speak.Comments: Pheew, I have to say, I simply adore this one. Its the best official Ardbeg in ages, and I think its highly underrated. This has everything I expect from a modern Ardbeg. I’m also glad that they did not drown it in sherry. The “darkest Ardbeg ever” is obviously marketing drivel, but this bottle keeps on giving. /90
I also compared it with the 46% release of Dark Cove afterwards.
Everything is a bit dialed down. The fishy peatsmoke comes out first on the nose, followed by a more pronounced and slightly chemical sweetness. Also good stuff, but the whole experience is a bit more tannic and lacks the assertiveness and intensity of the committee release. Nonetheless it’s worth buying and enjoying if you can still find it for a reasonable price. /86