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Ardbeg Alligator Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 51.2%
Alligator is the latest of Ardbeg’s limited releases. It’s a vatting of various ages, with no material less than ten years old. The point of difference here is in the intense firing of the oak barrels that the whisky is finished in. The process leaves the barrel’s staves ‘charcoaled’, taking on the appearance of an alligator’s scales. We’ve heard of some Australian distillers carrying out a similar charring before filling used Port barrels, however it’s usually a cautionary step to remove or sterilize any taint left in the old wood. Unfortunately, it presents potential problems in itself . The intense heat can generate a sulphidic taint (the dreaded rubber band / struck match), the result of burning wine related compounds embedded in the wood. Ardbeg’s Bill Lumsden, has taken a different approach by expanding on the unique use of new American White Oak. The new oak, when heavily charred, does not release the ‘off’ taints of a used barrel. Instead the drinker is presented with a myriad of toasty, savoury, barbequed aromas and flavours. When expertly blended with Ardbeg’s signature first fill Bourbon white oak casks the result is distinctive and impressive.