Ardbeg An Oa

Ardbeg An Oa

£38.95

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Grower: Ardbeg Distillery
Style: Single Malt
Country: Scotland
Appellation: Islay
Age: No Age Statement
Alcohol: 46.6% ABV
Closure: CORK
Bottle Size: 70cl

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Bright gold in colour. The bouquet as as always deceptively complex, developing with sherried oak aromas, lanolin, sooty vanilla and later, dark chocolate and suggestions of smouldering green pine. Entry is assertively salty, kippery, peppery. Mid palate is oily, medium dry, offering sherried richness along with piney juniper, over-baked sponge cake, black tea and hints of smoked meats at the finish. No shortage of peat, but loses some momentum in the final stages. Non chill filtered.

The last distillery on the road along the south coast from Port Ellen on the magical island of Islay, past Laphroaig and Lagavulin. The distillery itself dates back to the final years of the eighteenth century. The site's water source, Loch Uigeadail, is superb and has had the honour of having a whisky named after it. Until 1976/'77 Ardbeg still had its own malting floor, but take their heavily peated malt from the Port Ellen maltings. Jim Murray, in his Complete Guide to Whisky, described Ardbeg as the greatest distillery to be found on Earth. This was high praise indeed, given that the distillery was mothballed for most of the 1980's until Glenmorangie took control in 1997 and secured its future. The transformation from neglect to a homely and handsome distillery with a fine restaurant has been heartening to watch.

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