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Ardbeg changed hands between 1996 and 1997, since then the distillery has only released a Ten Year Old with an age statement. So it is pretty darn exciting *massively massively exciting* to get to try an Ardbeg with an age statement and for it to be distilled before the takeover. Thankfully we have bottled this eighteen year old Ardbeg all for your delectation!
This Ardbeg is part of our Single Cask Whisky range and was bottled from a refill ex-sherry hogshead at a natural cask strength of 56.3%abv, without chill-filtration or any pesky colouring and with a limited outturn of 252 bottles. This is rare, peaty single malt from one of Islay’s most acclaimed distilleries.
"A thing of outstanding natural beauty... and probably one of the finest single casks ever commercially bottled."- Jim Murray (97 Points)
Nose: Aromas of waxy lemon peel, chilli powder, kippers and soap lead to sandy beaches, violets and firm but not aggressive peat, almost like the depths of a smoke-house. Then comes tropical fruits and oranges with a whiff of brandy soaked sweet mincemeat and candied citrus peels.
Palate: At first the palate is ashy and salty with a big kick of Ardbegian peat but then comes a minerality and a mouth-coating oiliness with deeper notes of oat cakes and dried currants.
Finish: Sooty charcoal, stewing citrus fruits, seashells and dark chocolate form a sustained finish with fresh mint imperial notes at the front of the mouth.
Overall: Are there words to do justice to a whisky like this? Probably not however I'll give it a shot. This Ardbeg combines all the peat you could want with such a delicate balance of flavours that just linger on the palate for hours after the glass is finished. Aside from the sheer complexity this rare whisky boasts, it maintains a dangerously drinkable quality which entices you to keep coming back to it. It is a true shame that this whisky is so limited.
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I only tried the 3cl sample but this is something special. I am a big fan of the is lay whiskeys ever since i tries the 10 year old ardbeg which is a cracking whiskey but this was something extra. The flavours are so complex with the peat always there in the back ground just wish I could afford a bottle of this worth 36 for a sample though.
3rd March 2016
I've had mine open for a year - still a third left - and it has improved with bottle time - softer, more malty and complex over time, less spirity and the peat is more integrated. And now a 97 from Jim Murray! Shame there are no more bottles left... Go on MoM - get another single cask of Ardbeg! Cavalier.
12th November 2013
Very smokey taste and smooth, a nice mix. It's one of my favorite whiskeys.
4th December 2012
For my above review.Did not rate it in stars.I will give it eight based on the 3cl sample.Im sure after a few drams i would of warmed to it thus giving it 8.5.
27th October 2012
I bought a bottle of this just before it sold out and like all acclaimed good whisky i was eager to try it so a bought a sample as i will keep bottle for a special occasion.First impressions. it is quite light and fresh on the pallet, zingy strong citrus spices arising to the nose. slightly peaty nose and taste but not too much as some of the other ardbegs.A pleasure to drink as all ardbegs but not as complex as some of the others in the range.Overall quite spicey and slightly peaty, quite sharp but very nice.
23rd October 2012