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

November 25, 2021


Another pair of Ardbeg

We'll soon do the core range again (the Ten, Uigeadail, Wee Beastie, Corry, NOT the An Oa…) but in the meantime, a couple of newish indies just for sport…

Ardbeg 2008/2021 (57.8%, The Maltman, fist fill PX sherry butt, cask #1634, 573 bottles)

Ardbeg 2008/2021 (57.8%, The Maltman, first fill PX sherry butt finish, cask #1634, 573 bottles) Four stars
Another crazy bottling by some crazy bottlers for some crazy whisky lovers in crazy Taiwan. While this would be crazy PX… Colour: amber. Nose: it seems that someone's decided to smoke some bacon over burning tyres. While another person has distilled strawberries and rose petals and poured the end result into the mix. Some very tarry PX. With water: huge soy sauce, even an idea of natto (horror of horrors to this nose but some friends whom I deeply respect love it), then some sulphury mushrooms and really a lot of soot. To be honest, the cask tamed Ardbeg; it would have tamed Octomore too. Mouth (neat): holy featherless crows! This one's not easy to describe, some overripe strawberries are roaming the place for sure, while some salted rotting bananas would have joined the dancing after just three seconds, together with the moistest pipe tobacco and surely a sriracha-kind of softish chilli sauce. I told you, hard to describe. With water: Ardbeg, or Laphroaig and Lagavulin for that matter, plus sherry, especially hard PX, would often generate a feeling of sulphury rubber or even, well, bits of SM outfit. I would imagine… Not an easy beast for sure. Finish: long and much saltier. Worcester sauce and strawberry jam. Comments: spectacular, bestial and brutish. So rather awesome (ha) but perhaps not totally for lovers of Ardbeg au naturel.
SGP:567 - 87 points.

Ardbeg 20 yo 2001/2021 (51.4%, Elixir Distillers, Whisky Show London 2021, Adventures in Flavour - Phenolic Phantom)

Ardbeg 20 yo 2001/2021 (51.4%, Elixir Distillers, Whisky Show London 2021, Adventures in Flavour - Phenolic Phantom) Four stars and a half
A wonderful label that does not take itself too seriously, that's very refreshing. BTW I'm glad I can try this one formally, we were all so glad to meet each other again at the Show that there's been much more banter, hugs and camaraderie than any 'serious' whisky tasting. Because, friends rise over whisky, always! Colour: gold. Nose: teak oil, ointments, bitter almond oil, olive oil, natural hevea, green bananas, capers, carbon dust (brake pad), clayish mud… This one sure is rather different, and possibly a little less easy-easy than others. With water: indoor swimming pool, Woolite, chalk, new tyres, bandages and linseed oil. This is a wrestler. Mouth (neat): bites you a wee bit, being greenish, mentholy, bitter, a tad rubbery too… Some salty lemons too but this sure is no classic, 'average' Ardbeg. With water: indeed, rubber, also artisanal amaretti and a large glass of retsina. This bitterish baby would leave marks on your tongue, should you quaff too much of it. Finish: long, much saltier and more medicinal now, but always with these bitter almonds and this wee peppery rubber, especially towards the aftertaste. Comments: I do utterly love this, it's just that it is absolutely not 'normal' Ardbeg. Newcomers: it may not be necessary to go to those extremes. Your call.
SGP:377 - 89 points.

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







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