Ardbog Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
What the Distillery Says:
The name Ardbog was chosen to highlight the peat bogs of Ardbeg’s island home Islay and the part they play in the whisky making process. The unique peat bogs contain highly aromatic plants that when used to dry malted barley gives Ardbeg whiskies their distinctive smoky flavour.
Ardbog has deep, enticing waves of pecan nuts, salty toffee & caramels, fudge, leather and a distinct whiff of herbs, lavender and violets. The smoke is soft and aromatic, and is interwoven with savoury notes, like Iberico ham (de bellota) and olives.
Colour: Deep ochre
Aroma: Deep, enticing waves of pecan nuts, salty toffee & caramels combine with fudge, leather and with a distinct whiff of herbs, lavender and violets. The smoke is soft and aromatic and is interwoven with salty, savoury notes, such as berico ham and olives. The addition of water brings forth herbal, perfumed notes, smoked rhubarb, aged balsamic vinegar and some salty, ‘graphite’ notes reminding you of the Manzanilla cask element.
Taste/Texture: A full, oily/tingly mouth feel leads into a powerful, salty, savoury burst of flavours including salted cashews and peanuts, clove, aniseed flavoured toffee, green olives and a curious hint of anchovy. A long, lingering aftertaste, in which the classic Ardbeg sweetness (like a hint of maple syrup) is kept in check by oak tannins, clove and coffee grounds.
What Richard Says:
Nose: The peat weaves through but there is a sweetness that takes center stage. It’s kind of a nut-cream sweetness playing with the smoke and salt. There is also a menthol like effervescence that reminds me or Proraso.
Palate: The way this is bottled is the first thing that stands out to me. The flavors are a little reserved at first but the mouthfeel says this isn’t chill filtered and bottled well above the “standard” 40/43 of most malts. There is a nice rich oiliness to it that I really like. The flavor is an interesting interplay of savory and sweet. Fried salt pork with a dark chocolate mole maybe. There is also a weird minty and herbal thing going on. It’s like a Ricola cough drop and a wintergreen breath mint had a baby.
Finish: Minty, smokey and salty. It’s got a bit of hang time but I wouldn’t call this a long finish.
Comments: This is one of those whiskeys that I have a hard time reviewing because while I respect what’s been done it also not really my cup of tea. I in no way think that I have the market cornered on good taste in whiskey. Ardbog doesn’t do it for me but there are a lot of parts here that I can see would appeal to a lot of people.
Rating: Stands Out