Sav’s Pick of The Month – June 2022
You could dedicate a different whiskey to each day, and if your collection allows, you should; however, the 4th of June is Ardbeg day. Ardbeg derives from the Gaelic Àirde Beaga meaning ‘Little height’ or ‘headland’. Each year, the last Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt – known as Ardbeg Day – brings together whisky fans to celebrate all things Ardbeg.
This is why Sav’s pick of the month is Ardbeg An Oa.
An Oa is called after the Mull of Oa in Islay’s southwest, which provides some protection to the Kildaton shore (where Ardbeg distillery is located) from the brunt of the Atlantic’s wrath! As a result, An Oa is meant to reveal a more approachable side of Ardbeg single malt, which is as grounded as the Oa peninsula while maintaining the distillery’s signature style. This was the first new addition to Ardbeg’s core range in over a decade when it was released in the summer of 2017.
When An Oa debuted in 2017, it was the first addition to Ardbeg’s continuous line in a decade. It’s a blend of spirit aged in Pedro-Ximenez sherry casks and bourbon barrels. This is rounded and smoky, with aromas of toffee, aniseed, date, and banana, married in a French-oak marrying vat.
Sav’s Pick of the Month is the Ardbeg An Oa (46.6%) @ R699
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 Ximénez, charred virgin oak and ex-bourbon, which were all brought together to marry in Dr. Bill Lumsden’s new ‘Gathering Vat’!
Region: Islay Whisky
Nose: This sweet, creamy Ardbeg offers notes of butterscotch, fennel seed, tobacco leaf, Honey Nut Clusters and hints of mixed boiled sweets (fruit, Everton mint and menthol). The citrus notes are subtle and rich, coming through as flourless orange cake.
Palate: Still plenty of peaty oomph, although perhaps lighter in body. Notes of cigars and golden syrup flapjacks with sweet black tea on the tail and hints of chocolate limes.
Finish: Smoky treacle lingers with a little peanut brittle.
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