Ardbog was Ardbeg’s 2013 special release. It was specifically produced for ‘Ardbog Day’, which is now held annually at the beginning of the summer. Last year June 1st marked the release of Ardbog during The Islay Festival of Malt and Music (the Feis Ile). BWG loved Ardbeg’s 2012 special release, Galileo (read that review here) so sampling Ardbog was certainly something that peaked our excitement. Ardbog is aged in Spanish Manzanilla sherry casks for ten years and then combined with traditional 10 year old Ardbeg which is aged American bourbon casks. Bottled at 52.1% abv. Ardbog’s smokey power erupts as soon as you uncork the bottle. Raspberries and fruit are interwoven with the Ardbeg staples of salt, brine and peat. The palate gives you a creamy full texture with toffee butter, raisins, roasted nuts and oak. The finish is a long, balanced mix of smoked oak and buttery spice. We really enjoyed Ardbog, but it comes up short when compared to some of Ardbeg’s past special release whiskies. The flavors are tasty, but they don’t jump out at you and lack the unique complexity of a bottling like Galileo. Locally available at Gates Circle Liquors for $100. Rating: 90/100.