Distilled in 1975 by Ardbeg Distillery Ltd and bottled in 1986 as an 11 Year Old.
Selected by Darrell Corti especially for Corti Borthers, Sacramento. US Import.
That is right, young old Ardbeg, probably ex-refill. I couldn’t tell you whether the purifier was on or off when this baby was distilled, or simply out of order (I know, pure anorak stuff), but it’s always great to be able to taste legendary distillates at a young age, that is to say when the spirit’s still got a lot to tell. Let’s see… Colour: pale white wine (hurray!)
Nose: pah pah pah pah pah! It’s a very pure and very crystalline Ardbeg on the nose, certainly not a fatty one and certainly not a peat monster either. Lemon and oysters, I’d say. Well, at least for a few minutes, because it’s gaining momentum over time, with more marzipan and, above all, more and more diesel oil, broken branches and ashes. All in all, it’s the purity that’s impressive here. Oysters anyone? Fishing ground.
Mouth: how lovely! Once again, it starts delicately, but rather on some kind of smoky fudge this time, although lemon and oysters are well there in the background. And then, there, high-impact peat smoke, pepper, ashes, even a little chilli, liquorice wood, salt - and even touches of mustard, somehow ala Brora 1972 if you see what I mean. And bitter almonds. The texture is pretty oily, if not absolutely fatty.
Finish: quite long, a bit acrid, and certainly very ashy and smoky. Love the chilli-and-lemon-and-fudge (and smoked salmon) signature. Even more smoked fish in the end of the aftertaste.
Comments: it hasn’t got that very peculiar herbal and tarry fruitiness that these Arbegs tended to develop after more years in wood, and I wouldn’t say it’s extremely complex spirit, but then again, only 11 years. What a distillate! I think it was better than the official 10 that used to be available around the late 1980s. SGP:358 - 92 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|Bottler||R.W. Duthie & Co.|
|ABV/ Volume||43.0%/ 75cl|