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Tasting the Ardbeg Alligator–finally

Exactly one month ago, the Ardbeg Alligator Committee release (for discussion) was released and i posted the official notes for it. It’s been very tough getting hold of a bottle down here in Israel (Ardbeg do not ship here, why?!), and finally yesterday i recived a wee sample of the beast kindly sent to me by a good whisky friend, and a real whisky lover Johan (a talented whisky blogger from Sweden who runs the with his companion Tommy D). So first, many thanks to Johan for allowing me to sample this dram. much obliged!

What i am trying is to compare this one with the Ardbeg 10 we all know and like (i hope) when it’s possible. it’s obviously a much stronger in ABV, but a comparison is due.

Ardbeg Alligator , 51,2%, OB 2011,£55.00 (sold out)


Colour: Darker than the 10 year old. I wonder if the extra charred wood is the culprit…
Nose: Sweeter than the 10 year old, with less lemony notes, vanilla, spice, pepper, BBQ sauce, Peat and Charcoal , some brine, and also toffee and burnt sugar as in the Brule crust. Lovely and quite complex until now.
Palate: Heavy but not ultra peaty, but very Smokey as in smoked tobacco leaves, leftovers of a cigar, quite chilly and peppery with a gingery zing on the tongue as well. more than the 10 year old. Liquorice and dark tea, as well as other spices i can’t quite pinpoint. Not a peat monster at all (less peaty than the 10 or the Corry by far)
Finish : Long, with a lot of ash, pepper and gingery zing, spice, and some burnt wood.

Bottom line :

This is a very good dram. well made. It did not blow off my mind , but it’s well made, very enjoyable and offers a little variation on the 10 year old profile. If you love Ardbegs, and a little spiciness does not scare you off, it’s a bottle you should own. It’s not too expensive. I think i will opt for a bottle when the OB comes in a few months time.

Score: 86/100

Sincere thanks to Johan for the sample


7 replies on “Tasting the Ardbeg Alligator–finally”

Tasted this new malt myself and I can just say that this is one of Ardbeg’s masterpieces for years.

I tested this malt in the Whisky live of Paris and I did not stand out from it convinced !! I prefer the Uigeadail
Gilles french

Thank you, I am a fan of the house Arberg, my favourites(whiskers) are the uigedeal, the supernova and the Ten which always remains very good.

[…] I’ve have fairly limited exposure to the Glenfiddich and Ardbeg ranges (which I plan on remedying as budget allows), but did enjoy both these whiskies. The Glenfiddich delivers a lovely long, fruity-sweet finish and there are several layers of complexity to this whisky thanks to the blend of different ages. For more tasting notes on the Phoenix, read WhiskyBrother’s post on it here. The Ardbeg, while less peaty than their 10 year old expression, still delivers a rich taste, and yes – you can pick up on the barbecue sauce flavours mentioned in the official tasting notes! For a more detailed review of the Alligator head on over to Whisky Israel. […]

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