Ardbeg Drum

After dipping my toe metaphorically into the Sound of Islay last night I thought I’d try again, but what were the chances of getting lucky and avoiding the peat again?
The nose told me I may be out of luck as my initial lungful was medicinal and TCP-like so I was despondent. However, much to my surprise, that aroma cleared allowing me to get woody smoke with an element of pine with banana bread and overtones of dark chocolate ginger
I was now keen to see what my palate told me and it was awash with ginger, pepper, spice, mild vanilla and smoke and of course dark chocolate
The finish suggests coffee and cinnamon but with a smokey overtone and sea spray rather than sea salt
Drum is a limited edition dram launched for Ardbeg Day and I was desperate to like it as it’s been matured in ex bourbon casks before being rested in rum casks, very different for Ardbeg.
A year ago I’d have been overwhelmed by the medicinal nose and turned off. Maybe I’ve matured as a whisky drinker or maybe this is just a special, special dram. This will never be a go-to dram for me but will feature on special occasions and on tastings that I host.
If you’re an Islay fan you may like the wee twist with this, however if you’re usually a Speyside/Highland drinker this may just open your mind to Islay whiskies. I’d be keen to hear what you think.

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