First Impression: Ardbeg An Oa

[46.6%・NAS・Bottled in 2017・Official Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

Earthy peat filling out the initial scene, it’s organic but it is not at all confronting.  Oomph of peat burning away like glowing coal toasting sheets of nori but at the same time it feels mellow and very much approachable with the sugary aromas, some fine vanilla followed by the iconic antiseptic note.

Palate & Finish:
A tad more smoky than the nose had suggested, but again the dram restrains itself from being too peaty.  Blackcurrants and dark chocolate coated dried oranges dressed with almond nibs; a mid-palate that grows sweeter with a cigar creaminess that pairs rather well with the cheeky surfacing of the spirit at the late stretch.

Crushed coffee beans with subtle sweet peat, a medium finish that deceivingly stretches on.

Thoughts:

This is an Ardbeg that reaches for both sides of the aisle, a bipartisan dram if you will.

The fans will pick up on the Easter eggs yet it is the easy drinking nature of the dram that will no doubt fare even better with the new comers who are looking for an introductory Ardbeg.

Does this feel too calculated?  Perhaps..  but for a sweet tooth like myself this works.

P.S. Cheers Ardbeg & EVH for the bottle, it’s much appreciated.

-Nicholas