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These mid-1990s Connoisseur's Choice bottlings of mid-70s Ardbegs have become legendary, and this is a truly stunning example we don't expect to hang around very long...
Nose: The peat is dominant and insistent, but there's the typical buttery honey sweetness that integrates well with the heavy peat nose; tarmac, dried herbs, espresso.
Palate: Salty butter and marmalade, creosote and lapsang souchong.
Finish: Oaky with notes of herbs and toffee.
Overall: A phenomenal Ardbeg from what some argue was the distillery's finest hour.
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In 1992, I bought this one and a bottle of Longrow 1974 in London for 30 pounds each. This was the start of my interest in malt whisky, and still, this is the best dram I ever had. Until the late 90s, it was available at this price, and I bought the 4 last bottles available in the Stockholm area in 1999. I have a few centiliters left, and I fear the day everything is gone
22nd December 2016
This particular single malt whiskey is my absolute favourite. I enjoy the peaty, smoky whiskeys, but this seaweedy, iodine-and-phenol-infused Ardbeg is the smoothest, most mellow one I have tasted. Its finish is the best (in smoothness, character and length) of what I have tried. It trumps the normally available Islay single malts by quite a distance.
24th June 2013