Nose: Aromas of waxy lemon peel, chilli powder, kippers and soap lead to sandy beaches, violets and firm but not aggressive peat, almost like the depths of a smoke-house. Then comes tropical fruits and oranges with a whiff of brandy soaked sweet mincemeat and candied citrus peels.
Palate: At first the palate is ashy and salty with a big kick of Ardbegian peat but then comes a minerality and a mouth-coating oiliness with deeper notes of oat cakes and dried currants.
Finish: Sooty charcoal, stewing citrus fruits, seashells and dark chocolate form a sustained finish with fresh mint imperial notes at the front of the mouth.
Overall: Are there words to do justice to a whisky like this? Probably not however I'll give it a shot. This Ardbeg combines all the peat you could want with such a delicate balance of flavours that just linger on the palate for hours after the glass is finished. Aside from the sheer complexity this rare whisky boasts, it maintains a dangerously drinkable quality which entices you to keep coming back to it. It is a true shame that this whisky is so limited.