Ardbeg’s Traigh Bhan release is now in its fourth annual edition — always 19 years old but changing from year to year due to its small batch makeup and ever-evolving selection of casks to choose from. This year’s bottling is matured with a higher proportion of Oloroso Sherry casks, Batch Four is subtly different to the previous releases of Traigh Bhan. While the 2021 Traigh Bhan was a letdown, we’ve learned that this whisky really does change quite a bit each year. Will 2022 turn out to be a success? Let’s find out.
Peaty and quite medicinal, but slightly less overpowering than prior expressions of Traigh Bhan, the nose has a sweet honey character to it, dribbling with lighter notes of lemon oil, orange peel, and crushed sesame seeds. The maritime scent of salty sea spray is evident, offering a pleasant balance to the clouds of smoke that drift from the glass. Sweet and smoke make a lively but balanced impact on the palate, with a hearty mix of fresh fruit, milk chocolate, vanilla, and tea leaf. The influence of sherry isn’t overwhelming, but there’s enough of it to notice. All told, the dram has plenty to grab on to, making for a welcome relief of a return to form for this expression from Ardbeg.
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