Ardbeg 1966 Moon Import - The Birds Series


A set of Ardbeg 1966 Moon Import "The Birds" Cask #348, #2443, #2445. A ridiculously rare and hugely sought-after Moon Import bottling of Ardbeg 1966 bottled in the late 1980s.


Ardbeg 1966 Moon Import - The Birds - Cask #348

Cask #2443 by the same bottlers was superb (WF 93) but I never tried cask #348. Now’s the time. Colour: mahogany. Nose: it’s rather quieter than the Bowmore at first nosing, quite astonishingly, maybe because there’s a lot of dry sherry that tames the malt. Having said that, the whole never stops developing after one or two minutes, all on roasted nuts, tar, old orange liqueurs, old balsamic vinegar, cured ham and camphor. Then more chestnut liqueur, mint, ginger and a little coffee. The other 1966 by Moon had much less sherry if I remember well, but this one is stunning anyway. Utterly stunning. No water. More tar. Mouth: well, it’s very big but it’s also a little drying in the attack (a little too much cinnamon/cardboard) while there’re also bags of liquorice and tar as well as something very medicinal. Salmiak, kippers, molasses, roasted peanuts, melon liqueur. Gets then saltier and brinier, with also hints of lime and cough drops. Excellent – should I add of course – but a tad roughish and too dry. Also ‘a taste of gasoline’. Finish: long, dry, smokier. More cough syrup and a leathery aftertaste. Comments: a very big Ardbeg from the 1960s – while others were rather rounder and more approachable. It’s a superb whisky, but other old Ardbegs (most from the 1970s) have been even more superb in my book. SGP:367 - 92 points.

Ardbeg 1966 Moon Import - The Birds - Cask #2443

There were three or four different casks of Ardbeg in this series that, like many other 'Moons', seem to inspire several contemporary bottlers as far as label design is concerned. I already tried this cask a long time ago (WF 93) but never took proper notes. Now’s the time, as Charlie would say (Parker, not MacLean). Colour: full gold. Nose: ah yes, this is smoother, maybe a little more elegant and obviously shier than the versions from the 1970s, even if it’s younger whisky. It’s not big and it’s rather more on soot, apple peelings, orange zests, linseed oil and then mint and eucalyptus. What’s striking is the way it suddenly becomes much earthier. Huge notes of humus, damp earth, our bellowed old pu-erh teas, also camphor… Maybe this was some very old cask of cough syrup that’s been wrongly stencilled as Islay Malt Whisky? Mouth (neat): ho-ho-ho, now we’re talking! We aren’t very far from the 1972-1976 Ardbegs in fact, even if quite unexpectedly, this baby is rather fruitier, on oranges and maybe overripe apples (the red ones). As for the rest, it’s an avalanche of kippers, anchovies and green olives. Much, much more oomph than in the official 1965 from a few years ago (the one that was delivered with white gloves) but it’s true that it’s much younger. What’s sure is that it didn’t loose much power in glass. Finish: long and classically ‘old Ardbeg’, on almonds, brine, lemon marmalade, ashes and tar. Comments: probably not 95+ material, for that it would need a little more oomph and ‘wideness’, but quality is ultra-high. I had this baby at 93 before and won’t change my score. SGP:457 - 93 points.

Ardbeg 1966 Moon Import - The Birds - Cask #2445



    Distillery Ardbeg
    Classification Single Malt Whisky
    Bottle No./Released -/-
    Vintage 1966
    Age -
    Bottler Official Bottling
    Bottling Date 1987
    ABV/ Volume 46.0%/ 75cl
    Rating/SGP -/-
    Cask Number -


    Category: Rare, Series

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