Whisky Review: SMWS 33.138 Ardbeg 2007 12 Years Old “A thigh-slapping dram”

Style: Sherry and Smoky

Begins with a rather intricate layout – Seafood barbeque, tar and bonfire smoke forming a dynamic exterior, in which semi-elusive cherries and red liquorice are tucked right into the core. Maritime tides rolling in, fennels and pineapple lollies. Herbal spices, liquorice roots and brown sugar sink lower to form a powerful undercurrent. Very complex for a 12-year-old… Balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper at its tail. A clean limoncello tone gradually rises from behind.

Salted apple toffee marches in, while plenty of tarry smoke clinging firmly onto the sweetness. The sweet-maritime crust melts after a while and releases creamy chocolate and red fruits residing within. The oloroso sherry is now singing beautifully. Shellfish and seaweed both simmering in thick treacle. Liquorice and confectioneries combine to form a solid secondary layer. Lemon and lime soda with a dash of brine to finish.

Dying bonfire, slightest hint of ammonia and grilled shrimp overtone. Cranberry jam and mocha, a light lemonade touch at the end.

Wow. This is incredibly complete and delicious at mere 12 years old. Beautiful profile, excellent structure, interweaving nuances. The distillate synergizes so well with the Oloroso sherry to create a rich and velvety sweetness, which somehow reminds me of the earlier Uigeadail – the sherry-bourbon-distillate balance was simply immaculate. Together with the composed tarry peat and mighty herbal drive, we have an Ardbeg that epitomises the limitless potential of this resurrected distillery. Enchanting dram.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

[60.9% | Independent Bottling | Single Cask | Cask Strength | 2007 Distilled | 2019 Bottled | Non Coloured | Non Chill Filtered | 2nd Fill Oloroso Sherry Butt | **+]


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