Ardbeg An Oa
Ardbeg An Oa, NAS, 46.6 %
The Ardbeg An Oa is the newest addition to the Ardbeg core range. It was released last summer, and is priced somewhere between the Ardbeg 10 YO and the Ardbeg Uigeadail.
The name "An Oa" is derived from the Mull of Oa, in the south west of Islay. This is probably one of the last geographical names on Islay that did not already have at least one whisky named after it.
The Ardbeg An Oa is a non age statement (NAS) whisky matured in a mix of cask types, including virgin oak (presumably American oak), ex-bourbon and Pedro Ximénez.
Nose: Chocolate and citrus, straight off. Which means we definitely have an Ardbeg at the nose and at the ready. There's actually a lot of chocolate and more than a medium level of smoke. Think Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory on fire. But there is something rotten in Denmark. Well, not literally rotten! Something is amiss though. I find a bit of alcohol on the nose, a slight lack of integration. Also there is not a whole lot more than citrus, vanilla, smoke and chocolate.
Taste: Medium body, on the slim side. Pepper and ashes. A bit dry. Still mainly chocolate, vanilla, smoke and mild citrus.
Finish: Short finish. Still the same...
Comments: Well, it definitely is an Ardbeg, but why this release exactly? They say it is more approachable. Yes, I guess so - in that it is a bit more meh than usual. It is not a bad whisky in any way, though, it just does not hold my attention.
Image from Master of Malt.
Sláinte! - Thomas