Ardbeg SMWS 33.125 Salted Caramel Lollipop

Ardbeg SMWS Alligator

Distillery/Brand: SMWS | Region: Islay | ABV: 64.2% | Color: Pale Straw

Nose: 24 | Taste: 24 | Finish: 23 | Balance: 23 | Rating: 94

I was at an Ardbeg tasting recently and after sampling the Auriverdes (which left a lot to be desired) we were told there was a surprise waiting for us right at the end.

The surprise happened to be an absolutely wonderful bottling of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. This one was bottle 33.125 aptly named the Salted Caramel Lollipop. This single cask Ardbeg was seven years old and served up at a delicious 64.2%.

Our host for the evening, an ex-SMWS chap, claimed that the spirit inside was actually a seven year old Ardbeg Alligator which, if true, completely blows my mind!

We’ve been having debates on how hard it is for distilleries to bring out flavors in younger whiskies given the state of high demand and here you have a fledgling powerhouse that delivers a slap in the face of all these claims.

If this really is the Alligator then I’m definitely in love with the younger sister.

Nose: The smoke is upfront and unapologetic. Salty barbecue sausages with a fresh fennel and cucumber salad on the side. For dessert there is a toffee pudding served with a side of citrus orange and pineapple. Sublime.

Palate: Firing on all cylinders! Sweet apricots soaked in sugarcane juice with a garnish of fresh mint. But it’s the spices that are king. They come at you with a thousand prickles of pleasure. You want to savor it for a long time but instinct forces you to swallow.

Finish: Gorgeously long and with all the spices in all their glory.

This is truly a sublime single cask whisky and forces me to ask this question. Is getting young spirit to taste awesome so hard?

Rating: 94


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