29 December 2015

26/12/2015 Boxing Day dram


Ardbeg Lord of the Isles (46%, OB, L5 285 243 4WL): nose: a lovely mix of brine in a farmyard. Seaspray, fishing nets, whelk, mussels and oysters, kelp, wrack at low tide, yet also muddy paths. Oddly, this all comes accompanied by cotton candy. This is complex and not shy at all. Brushed aluminium surfaces. Wet sand and damp cellars. It turns vaguely fruity after twenty minutes. Mouth: velvety as caramel, it has more of the sea notes (seaspray, fishing nets), as well as a tiny bit of rubber or bakelite (tractor tyres, perhaps?). Apples -- nay! Cider. A gently salty tang, probably biltong. Sweetend orange juice is there too. Finish: peat smoke and muddy fields, smoked mussels, Serrano ham, sun-heated rubber. The second sip brings more orange juice; it is served in a burnt-rubber cup. I will stand by what I always said: these reduced small batches beat the single-cask bottlings of the same era in terms of complexity, balance and value for money. 9/10

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