Given the success and cult-like fan base that Ardbeg has recently enjoyed, it is almost impossible to imagine that the distillery was closed, on and off, for 15 years until it was purchased by Glenmorangie. Sitting on the southern coast line, the current distillery was founded in 1815, the original having been destroyed by excise men. The Ardbeg spirit still is fitted with a purifier which many believe accounts for its fruity, zesty character.
Bottled for the Feis Ile in 2006, this rare Ardbeg 1975 was matured in a single Fino sherry cask.
Most interestingly, the Ardbeg for the festival is at 299 GBP this year, three times the price they asked for the 2002 release. I guess you can get a small used car for that price. Why so much money? ‘Because we haven’t got many of these casks left’ did they tell us quite apologetically at Ardbeg while something like an embarrassed angel was flying around us in the Old Kiln Shop. No wonder many friends who used to collect Ardbeg already quitted since a few months or years. Anyway, no other comments needed except this: ‘better be good!’… Let’s try it… Colour: straw. Nose: very pure and clean at first nosing, vegetal and quite farmy. Lots of peat and lots of smoke (it’s hugely smoky in fact), with little fino influence I think, immensely clean. Gets then much more maritime, with notes of seashells, oysters... Goes on with quite some green pepper, curry, peppercorn, then lime… Really ‘straight’, really pure, with also quite some minerality. Mouth: starts quite lemony, with ‘of course’ lots of peat and smoke. Goes on with fresh almonds, marzipan, a little paraffin… Again, it’s very pure and straight. Not violent at all, rather soft… Finish: not too long but very, very classy, with quite some spices, nutmeg and pepper. A brilliant Ardbeg but again, at 299 GBP, it had to be good… (yeah, yeah). 95 points.
|Classification||Single Malt Whisky|
|Bottling Date||3 May 2006|
|ABV/ Volume||46.3%/ 70cl|
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