Google Today Ardbeg au naturel

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2017


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

August 26, 2019


Little duos, today Ardbeg au naturel

So, the best. Now people are talking more about Daftmill or Chichibu than about Ardbeg these days. Indeed, times are changing and fashions fade, but I for one will always remain officially an Ardbeggite, come hell or high water!

Ardbeg 1999/2019 (58.7%, Or Sileis, barrel, cask #134, 188 bottles)

Ardbeg 1999/2019 (58.7%, Or Sileis, barrel, cask #134, 188 bottles) Five stars
A bottling by Ian Macleod/Chieftain’s for Taiwan. I’m glad they didn’t reduce it to 46%. Colour: gold. Nose: it’s showing self-restraint and would rather talk branches and fresh nuts before a perfectly well-carved smokiness arises, very narrow, almost philosophical (frugality and stuff) and extremely ashy. It’s really plain peat smoke, as if we were in a working kiln, although a few berries would show off as well. Cranberries? With water: it’s the Ten, more or less, with just a little more profoundness. No complains, love the Ten. Mouth (neat): these sour fruits and this tar that scream Ardbeg. As if they had tried to smoke guavas. In the background, the usual tarry ropes and touches of tangerines. Smoked, naturally. It’s not complex, but that’s almost what you were expecting, something simple and perfect. With water: and bicycle inner tubes, lemons, samphires, and seaweed. Well, we’ve got a full team. Finish: medium, with the only descriptor that was missing, smoked fish. Very ashy aftertaste, with a little salt as well, and something medicinal (tincture of iodine). This time,  we’ve really got a full team. Comments: Ardbeg remains perfect as long as it’s kept in its own juices. Like all the great spirits, I think it mixes badly.
SGP:357 - 90 points.

Ardbeg 21 yo 1975/1996 (50.1%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Sherrywood matured)

Ardbeg 21 yo 1975/1996 (50.1%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Sherrywood matured) Five stars
We’ve had several sister casks by Cadenhead or Duthie in the past, but that was a long time ago. Some were too harsh and immature, but others have been stellar, with scores ranging from 80 to 93 overall. Now we’ve never tried this very one before… And don’t be afraid of the ‘sherrywood’ mention, could well be third or even fourth fill, let’s see… Colour: straw. Nose: different for sure, with more fruits. Most peaty Islayers had more fruits in the past, by the way. There’s also an old sauvignon blanc-quality, many sour fruits, some yoghurty notes, and then a large amount of damp plaster and chalk. It’s globally milder and gentler than the 1999 but remember it’s not really any older. Simply different styles, this is rather closer to ‘the peated barley’. With water: ink, carbon paper, fish oil, coal-tar, smoked almonds, old magazines, and, perhaps, wee wet dogs (like Yorkshires). We’re sorry, Yorkshires. Mouth (neat): salt and lemon, plus fish oils and tar. This time it’s really millimetric, concise, and just beautiful. Lace while the 1999 was rather rougher. With water: do not add too much water, it doesn’t need water anyway. As a French friend once said, this is not pastis (yet I do find wee touches of liquorice and aniseed). Finish: rather long and remember it’s in the finish that the very best ones reveal themselves. Salted fish, lemon, tar, and some oiliness. One big fat oyster – or perhaps Venus clams? Indeed it is very coastal. Comments: genius whisky. I wasn’t too sure at the very beginning, but I was wrong. Could be the best 1975 within this very parcel of casks. Humbly my favourite, in any case.
SGP:466 - 93 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Ardbeg we've tasted so far







Whiskyfun's Home