Specialty Drinks has launched its seventh batch of Ardbeg with this Ar7. This time it matured on a sherry cask, which is not something you see often. I heard through the grapevine that this is a vintage 2000 that matured on PX, which explains the color for a large part.
The nose is wonderfully dirty (which is positive, by the way) on wet earth, ashes and garden hose on the one hand, dried figs, rhubarb, almonds and milk chocolate on the other. There is also a hint of green garden herbs. Cumin and parsley. Do you know those dades with a slice of bacon wrapped around them? Yup, that’s it. After five minutes, some smoldering wood kicks in. Complex is an understatement.
It starts sweet and spicy on dark fruit, almonds and café frappé, before the maritime character of the spirit shines through. Salty peat, garden herbs, smoke and quite brackish. Wonderful balance. Water is not needed at all.
The finish is long, warm and spicy with the omnipresent smoke, before it dies a drying, sweet death.
I can see me sipping this after a nice meal of game, while lighting a good Havanna.