10 years old, distilled 18th April 2008, 57.1% abv, First-Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 231 bottles, dram price F
The nose has vanilla, tar, smoke from burning dry wood, oily rags and a farmyard on a summer's day. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has vanilla, lemon juice, farmyards and then a lot of that smoke from the nose. The finish sees a return of the tar, more smoke and a hint of lemon.
Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that lingers for a while as mottling. The nose gains a hint of lemon, and loses the oily rags. The body gains more vanilla and lemon, and loses a little of the smoke. The smoke returns for the finish, which has lost some of the tar in favour of more lemon.
It's 10 year old bourbon-casked Ardbeg at cask strength - and it tastes and behaves exactly like that. A great example of the breed, and one that will enhance any sunset on a beach.
Technical score: 4.5/5
Personal preference: I'd like a bottle.
This whisky was provided by the SMWS in a preview session - thanks to them for that. Full editorial control has been retained in the tasting process!