The fourth batch of Ardbeg's Traigh Bhan 19 Year Old single malt, which like each edition before it, takes some of the Islay distiller's finest whisky from a combo of American oak and oloroso sherry casks and bottles it up at 46.2% ABV to create one of the distillery's most sought-after expressions.
On the nose, rising aromas of herbal pine and fennel flow into sharp notes of citrusy lime sorbet and medicinal lozenge, while eucalyptus and saddle soap follow on the breeze. A splash of water releases a cascade of hazelnut, sweet vanilla, and currants, before rich minted chocolate brings the nose to a close.
An intense wave of wood smoke crashes over the palate, leaving ripples of decadent dark chocolate and ground coffee in its wake. Sweeter notes of lemon curd and peanut brittle cut through the swell to reveal delicate hints of creamy raisin fudge and hazelnut. The allure of this rare dram continues with suggestions of more medicinal, spicy notes. Menthol, fresh lemongrass, aniseed, clove, and white pepper emerge from rich, smoky depths.
Sweet and peat collide with creamy vanilla fudge, dark cocoa powder, and a warm, woody clove tingle. A sharp, intense, and satisfyingly long finish.