I'm a huge fan of ryes and ardbeg both, so when this rye cask aged Ardbeg was announced, my hopes were high! Did it live up to my hopes and expectations? Let's dig in...
0.2 (Pale straw)
Muted by Ardbeg standards, soft campfire notes, malt, toffee, hints of baking sourdough
Fruity rye notes come through in full force, salty smoke, rye spice on the back end, sourdough
Balanced finish with very little heat, lingering smoke with a salty rye finish which coats the tongue
When this was first announced, I expected it would be a punch in the face of rye spice and smoke, but it's surprisingly balanced and delicate. The slightly muted nature of this makes me question how old the juice is in here, as it drinks like an older Islay. I expected a sledgehammer to the face of smoke and rye spice, and instead got something that was quite a bit more complex. I think I'm going to need to revisit this a couple of times to see if I prefer it that way, but this time it was a great, contemplative dram. While this did not live up to my hopes and expectations, I can say that I think this is a good representation of how good Ardbeg's base spirit is, as in the end it still is a nice, complex dram.
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81 / 100