The next malt, which I have had open for a long time, but have now systematically tasted again, is the Ardbeg An Oa. It is a little sweeter than the well-known TEN, as it is matured in PX sherry casks and new oak casks in addition to the bourbon casks. The blend at the end is already special. It has 46.6 %.
The nose of Ardbeg An Oa is greeted by damp wood and various fruity notes. Among these, orange and raspberry stand out. Toffee and a little salt are also present. The finish is made up of beautiful smoky notes.
The smokiness of the nose is immediately echoed in the taste, although here it is stronger. In addition, there is a little salt and plenty of pepper, which spreads a pleasant spiciness. Everything is rounded off by orange and a hint of chocolate.
The finish of the An Oa is nice and long, strong and spicy. There is also a long-lasting and gentle warmth.
Compared to the Ardbeg TEN, the An Oa is unexpectedly light and fruity on the nose, almost light. Only in the taste does the distillery come back, becoming strong, smoky and salty, which lasts until the end. Here the An Oa becomes a nice spicy Ardbeg. It receives 78/100 points.