|Ardbeg has been voted the best Whisky in the world; 3 years in a row. And in the world of Ardbeg, peat is important. For it is this soggy, unassuming matter which gives Ardbeg its famous flavour. Ardbeg is the PEATIEST and SMOKIEST of all the Islay malts, yet has a fruity floral sweetness and complexity to the spirit.|
The An Oa (pronounced an-oh) is the first permanent addition to the core single malt range of Ardbeg for almost a decade. It is named after the Mull of Oa, the southernmost point on Ardbeg's home island of Islay. The whisky is the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden – the Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks for Ardbeg's owners Moet Hennessy. Ardbeg An Oa is a combination of ex-bourbon barrels, ex-Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and virgin oak casks. These have been married in a large French oak vat housed in The Gathering Room, a new feature at the Ardbeg distillery.
Ardbeg An Oa joins the 10 years old, Corryvreckan and Uigaedail in the core range and is designed to be the entry point in to the range, sitting below the 10 years old expression. It is bottled at 46.6% ABV and is non chill-filtered
The Ardbeg An Oa is light and fresh with lots of peat smoke. It is the lighter and fresher notes that make this different from anything else in the core range of Ardbeg, and therefore makes it a natural fit in that range. The battle between the delicate sweetness, the bittersweet maltiness and the robust and acrid smoke is an interesting one and they work together very well.
90 Points Wine Enthusiast-This French single malt opens with aromas of caramel, honey and fresh pear. A surprising billow of smoke unfolds on the palate, mellowed by touches of honey and salted caramel. A splash of water provides balance to the fiery finish that pops with cayenne and heat.
Whisky Advocate-The Arran Malt, Single Bourbon Cask, (Cask#1801), 1996 Vintage, 50.5% Fresh and clean, with notes of vanilla, ripe barley, honey, caramel apple and toasted coconut. Creamy and mouth-coating in texture, leading to a pleasingly dry, spicy oak finish. Very drinkable yet satisfying. Very nice.
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