For months, rumors have been circulating about a new Ardbeg bottling. It is official now and with another No-Age-Statement Ardbeg and Moet Hennessy make a noise in the world of spirits again. And this time they absolutely hit the bull’s eye.
While Moet Hennessy is currently doing promotion for its latest Islay offspring, Ardbeg Alligator Committee Reserve, I had the opportunity to get first impressions of the new island-malt. After the tasting report on Trinklaune.de in which Oliver Steffens called the Ardbeg Alligator a “Whisky bomb”, my expectation was quite high and in the end I was definitely not disappointed.
As it has often been stated, the term “Alligator” is not a completely alien term in the whisky industry. “Alligator” is the highest charring grade of oak barrels, where the whisky is then being aged. But at this point I do not want to go into the “toasting and charring of oak barrels“ issue in depth.
As expected, the golden Ardbeg Alligator was characterized by intense peat in the nose, but the one point that made this Scotch so particular in the nose was its striking complexity. In addition to pepper and dark chocolate I especially noticed chili and tar. These were flavors, which make the Gator very individual. Unlike many other whiskies, which promise much in nosing, but then have nothing more to offer in the mouth, the Ardbeg Alligator really shows off in this point. In addition to the smoothness, despite its more than 51% by volume, it was mostly one special flavor that stood out above all in the mouth: salt. Rarely have I tasted such a salty malt, in which the aroma of salt was accompanied so pleasantly by flavors such as wood, peat and spices. The subsequent finish left nothing to be desired: long-lasting, wood, peat and salt.
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Alcohol: 51.2% abv
Region: Islay / Scotland
Bottler: Ardbeg Distillery / Moet Hennessy
Score: 10/10 points
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