Tasting and Review by Daniel & Rex in the Whisk(e)y Vault
“70cl / 46.6% – An Oa is named after the Mull of Oa in the south west of Islay, which offers the Kildaton coast (where Ardbeg distillery is situated) some protection from the worst the Atlantic has to offer. As such, An Oa is intended to show a more approachable side to Ardbeg single malt that’s as rounded as the Oa peninsular, without losing the characteristic distillery style. In the summer of 2017 this became the first addition to Ardbeg’s core range in over a decade. Maturation took place in a combination of casks including Pedro Ximenez, charred virgin oak and ex-bourbon, which were all brought together to marry in Dr. Bill Lumsden’s new ‘Gathering Vat’.”
AROMA- Rounded and smoky – like burning Applewood – with creamy toffee, aniseed, treacle and dates. A curious suggestion of juicy fruits, such as peach and banana. With a drop of water, reminders of Ardbeg’s classic fragrance – lime, pine resin, fennel, saddle soap and tar. A gentle waxiness, like fragrant candle wax, and hints of smoked herbs. An Oa gives a final subtle reminder of the sea with briny notes and seaweed but always accompanied with creaminess.
FINISH- Lingering, seductive, gentle yet intense, with flavours of aniseed, hickory and distant subtle smoke
TASTE -A smooth, creamy texture leads into a huge syrupy sweetness, flavours of milk chocolate, treacle toffee, aniseed, orange and smoky tea leaves. Gentle, sweet spices (nutmeg & cinnamon), some cigar smoke, and a very unusual flavour of grilled artichokes. Wood is always present in the spirit, gently nutty and reminiscent of a carpenter’s workshop. A long, sweet finish, with floral overtones, mint toffee and some gentle malty biscuit notes.