Ardbeg An Oa
I'm a big fan of Ardbeg distillery, Ardbeg 10 year was the first 'heavily' peated whisky I had tried many moons ago (well I thought it was the smokiest thing I had ever tasted at that point) so Ardbeg holds a special place in my heart.
Anyhow, Ardbeg An Oa (Pronounced An-oh the advert is hilarious look it up) is the newest addition to the Core range from the distillery, alongside the 10yr, Corryvreckan and the Uigeadail, this range is also known as the Ultimate Range (oooh fancy). An Oa is a marriage of several different types of casks, PX Sherry (a personal favourite of mine), Virgin oak and first fill Bourbon, the whisky is then put into Ardbeg’s new “French oak gathering vat where they familiarise themselves with each other” (also fancy) to the Tasting!
This is an awesome addition to the “Ultimate Range” from Ardbeg, well rounded with plenty going on, less on the medicinal side of peat than the rest of the range but still distinctively Ardbeg. The “several casks” rather than telling us the actual casks is a bit annoying as it would be nice to know the actual ratios, my guess is heavy on the ex-bourbon then just filling in the gaps with the rest. Overall great dram!
You can pick up a bottle at Master of Malt to try for yourself.
It’s the familiar Ardbeg coastal, salty peat on the nose, less medicinal than the standard 10yr with more of a meaty bbq smoke, then peppery dark chocolate and a hint of fresh spearmint (the tiniest bit).
Very chocolate forward with sticky dried fruit coming through from the PX casks, then followed by a boom of salty peat, burnt coffee grounds (in a good way) and a chocolate mintiness (it’s a word) reminiscent of After Eights.
Spicy black pepper, dry salted meat, and more pepper then fresh mint with more pepper (it’s pretty spicy on the finish)
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