A life in drinks: From wine to whisky

Ardbeg Alligator (committee reserve)

If I was going to take a reptile to bed, this would be the one.


Ardbeg Alligator at The Whisky Exchange

Ardbeg Alligator at The Whisky Exchange © Colin Hampden-White

There are two new things this week. A new expression of Ardbeg and an embassy in London to go with it.

To make life easy, the nice people at Ardbeg have joined the two together for their launch. And so it came to be that I found myself in The Whisky Exchange in London tasting the Ardbeg Alligator. All committee members can go down to The whisky Exchange and have a dram courtesy of Ardbeg and The Whisky Exchange.


A medium gold.

On the nose:

Sweet honey joins the expected BBQ notes with a hint of caramel in the background. After tasting, and coming back for a second go floral notes and a little cut grass had joined the party. There is also a hint of pipe tobacco.

On the Palate.

As with the nose a good dose of honey and sweetness on the front of the tongue citrus then takes over with a nice amount of spice following through to a warming smooth dollop of  caramel and wood from the new American oak and then smoke, which keeps on going for a while. This is a beautifully balanced whisky with a surprising amount of maturity for the age of its whiskies.

The Finish:

More spice and citrus, followed by fat cigar smoke (non of your slim panatelas here, aromatic rather than sweet dried tobacco).  Then smoke and spice, leaving you with a little cheek burn and a burning desire to delve in to some more.

Once you have been on a few, honey, citrus and smoke trips and feel like stopping, then the finish goes on for a very long time, having tasted this well over an hour ago I still have smoke and spice coming back to me.

Edward Bates of www.thespiritsauthority.com helping to pour (and with the 4.5 litre bottle, one needed some help!) and joining me in tasting Ardbeg Alligator

Edward Bates of http://www.thespiritsauthority.com helping to pour (and with the 4.5 litre bottle, one needed some help!) and joining me in tasting Ardbeg Alligator

For the moment, it is lucky committee members who can get some and for everyone else, I guess they will just have to wait for the general release in September. In the mean time I am going to hide my bottle from covetous eyes.

As a committee member this can be bought through the Ardbeg Website.

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