|Craig Daniels||Nose: charred wood, brambles, burning vine canes, smoked vanilla, sherry, plum jam, more smoked cherries. Not super carbolic or peat smoky, the sherry seems to tamp it down and the combination is positive.
Palate: big, rich, smoky and fruity, much more tarry mixed berry jam than in the nose.
Finish: sweet, tarry then leathery, with coal ash.
Comment: Reminds me a little bit of Oloroso Bowmores but with more tar, more jam and more more ash. Stays both fruity and ashy. It's idiosyncratic and very well made. What's not to like?
This was my favourite Ardbeg from the MWSoA Convention 2013. |
|Rich Howard||the nose starts off a bit hot, with smoldering peat taking center stage. that fades somewhat quickly to toasted oak, soot, mineral water, brambles and blackberries, cured ham, black olives, brine, sweet cream and salted toffee. the wine influence gives the wood a slightly sourish note lingering in the background. the palate is brisk, and the wine quickly asserts itself, with sweet, creamy citrus riding on top of charred embers, ashes, plenty of salty green olives, kippers. the finish long and heavy with sour herbs. way too heavy, actually. a few drops of water tames the nose a bit, still some smoldering embers, black olives, with a strong infusion of creamy citrus and plenty of that salted toffee. the palate is sweeter and saltier now, but somehow better integrated. the smoking brush fire more pronounced, some blackened catfish there, Parmesan cheese, and fortunately, those prominent notes of sour herbs are mostly gone. the nose is pleasant enough either way, but for me the palate requires water. without it, the strong sweet and sour notes are too strong and unbalanced. |
|Tim Puett||Nose: Dulce de leche, vanilla and even some salty caramel ice cream and butterscotch. My type of nose, richly sweet but not cloyingly so.
Palate: This is where the spirit comes through with some hints of lime. Earthy, slightly peaty, and somewhat dry with some salted cashews and a bit more vanilla.
Finish: Long lasting with more peat coming through, balancing the salty caramel from the nose and though its warming on the tongue, it is pleasant. |