Single malt whisky - tasting notes

15 Jan 2011

Ardbeg Alligator

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * News

Ardbeg AlligatorIt seems a new Ardbeg expression is ready to be launched: Ardbeg Alligator.

Alligator is the name of the deepest way of charring casks. It refers to the resulting scale-like pattern of burnt wood, similar to a croc’s skin. Almost all bourbon makers use this type of charring, but for Scotch distilleries it’s quite uncommon.

Ardbeg did some experiments with toasted new oak casks (mind you: toasted, not charred) and released two of them for Feis Ile 2009: Ardbeg 1998 cask 1189 and Ardbeg 1998 cask 1190. I liked those casks A LOT because they focused less on peat smoke and more on bourbon flavours (vanilla, cocoa, mint, tobacco).

In stores around September, with a limited Comittee Release on the 1st of June 2011.


Update: the 1998 were toasted casks instead of charred casks (not burnt, just browned). The end result of the Alligator may be different from those experimental casks, but I guess we can still expect a palette that’s based around bourbon flavours.

Update: tasting notes of the Ardbeg Alligator (Committee release)

Ardbeg Alligator 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-01-15
  • Dirk

    Looks like the marketing guys from LVMH got heir inspiration from their “croc leather handbags”…

  • Michael

    Very interesting. Thank you Ruben.

  • Ruben

    @Dirk: well spotted. I think the croc pattern looks good, although the little alligator on the label is maybe a bit too obvious.

  • Geert

    @dirk I had the same in my mind straight away.
    Wonder what the price for a bottle will be???

  • gal

    good news.
    looking fwd to owning a bottle 😉
    Geert, another one for the collection eh? 😉

  • Johan L

    @Dirk and Geert: following Ardbeg’s recent path, saves you an expensive class ‘becoming a successful marketing manager’ ;-). And maybe you’ll get a rather nice dram out of it… Greets!

  • kallaskander

    Hi there,

    I had no idea that Lacoste was now part of LVMH 😎


  • I_SPEY

    Looking out for that one, Ruben. Very, very curious! Thanks for the info, Ruben!


  • Sam Snead

    Love the name!! I just hope it delivers in the same manner. If it’s as good as Corryvreckan, then it will be a winner.
    I will keep an eye out for the Committee release.
    Sam in New Zealand

  • Marc

    Hi Ruben.

    Do you have any further info on this release? You think committee members expect an email any day now officially announcing the Gator’s release? Cheers.

  • Gal


    was told it will be available June 1st. on the Ardbeg store…
    Got no email , letter, and i am a committee member too..


  • Ruben

    Indeed, no further communication. I’ve never seen a fixed date but I reckon it won’t be long before it goes online.

  • Marc

    Today’s post on The Whisky Exchange blog mentions that the Alligator is available from tomorrow (1 June). Maybe Ardbeg are keeping it on the downlow to prevent a reoccurrence of the Rollercoaster release?

    Link here:

  • Peter

    V much looking forward to this bottling. I see there are notes up on, here:

    If it is as good as this sounds, then i hope the postman hurries up!

  • Ruben

    Now on sale… but Ardbeg doesn’t ship to most of the European countries. Imho the EU directive is a lame excuse. It just means the distillery has some customs work to do, which apparently they’re not prepared or willing to do. Why are we committee members, only to get excited about something we can’t get?

  • Jens Wedin

    Just to let you know, in Sweden we can order the Aligator from Systembolaget from the 1st of June. Sweden got 3000 bottles. and it’s sold for about 70 pounds (799 sek).

  • nickhac

    How can we order this in Australia? There is a cult of ardbeg lovers down here and would love to know availability.

  • Ruben

    The public release has been sent out to stockits yesterday so I believe it should arrive in Australia any moment now.



November 2015
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Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1931 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.