A deep rich dark amber color reminiscent of strong tea, burnt ocre, mahogony with hints of shiny copper.
The strong nose leads with hints of peat and smoke as expected from Islay's Ardbeg, but there's additional complexity including distinct vanilla, sweet fruit, nuts and wood.
The flavor can only be described as complex. A background of peat and smoke transorm into a variety of flavors that stimulate various parts of the palate and include cream, nuts, salt, pepper, vanilla, and other fruits. A splash of water causes a distinct increases in sweetness.
The finish is long, complex and savory with a variety of flavors including coffee, chocolate, cream, salt, pepper, cooking oil, desert rain and sweet fruit. Surprisingly, its missing the smoke and peat of more traditional Ardbegs.
Although Ardbog is a distinctive, complex dram, the medly of flavors don't blend together in a truly harmonious manner, thus placing Arbdbog in the interesting but not truly exceptional category.