An Ardbeg distilled on 8th March 1967, matured in single sherry cask number 922 & 923 until June 1996.
This was bottled by Kingsbury who mostly export to Japan.
A 29 year old Sherry casked Ardbeg... this is certainly as rare as a Unicorn.
Astonishing complexity and intensity on nose on a seaweedy-peaty-oaky theme; dry and oaky to taste with massive, almost thunderous rumblings of peat and cocoa on the late middle and finish. A dry Ardbeg for the connoisseurs among connoisseurs.
Colour: full amber. Nose: less on honey but more on roasted nuts and coffee beans. Hazelnuts, black nougat… The sherry is also stronger than in cask #923, the whole getting fruitier (blackberry jelly, strawberry jam). Immensely elegant. Also humus, mushrooms, high-end sake, balsamic vinegar, Spanish ham (patanegra). This one simply leaves me speechless. Mouth: similar to cask #923, really, maybe just a tad more peppery and even more assertive. A true monster. Enough said. 97 points. Pure madness: a vatting of both casks. On the nose, it got much more organic, with more notes of dried mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. The mouth didn’t quite change but they were rather similar right from the start. Just between us, they should have vatted both at Kingsbury’s, maybe that would have given us the best whisky in the world (in my books).
Quite profound sherry despite the close attentions of the peat on the nose; initially fat on the palate with a sweetish, silky malt middle which gives way to first fruit, then peat, then, as it dries, oak and finally a very deep wave of peat. Big and highly complex.
Colour: full amber. Nose: extraordinary honeyed attack (chestnut, fir) with superb notes of old sweet wines (Yquem springs to mind) and all sorts of herbs. Verbena, citronella, chamomile… Then it gets all on roasted nuts and milk chocolate, bourbon vanilla, nougat… The peat is wonderfully integrated. We have also a great meatiness (well-hung game, smoked ham) as well as quite some wax polish (grandma’s cupboard). Symphonic.
Mouth: amazing attack. Totally amazing. Bold, majestic, powerful but never overpowering… All kinds of nuts and fruits, chocolates, ganaches, rare spices (saffron), ginger, quince jelly, balsamic vinegar. And the peat? You may ask. It’s well here, crouched behind the sherry, providing this wonderful dram with even more structure and zing. Amazing. Finish: long, toasted, peaty, jammy, nutty… It’s got everything. 96 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|Bottling Date||June 1996|
|ABV/ Volume||- / 70cl|