Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

Ardbeg marathon

 6 Feb 2004  

Lukas, Philipp and I pooled our Ardbeg collections (pic 1, pic 2) and did a massive vertical tast­ing - a total of 16 bottlings! The whiskies, and my ratings:

Lord of the Isles91 p
1974 (CC) (b. 1996)90 p
197790 p
197588 p
1972-Nov (DL)88 p
1972-Mar (DL)88 p
1973-Mar (DL)87 p
Committee Reserve87 p
1975-Oct (DL)86 p
10 y.o.86 p
Uigeadail86 p
Very Young Ardbeg85 p
1990 (CC)84 p
17 y.o.84? p
1993 8 y.o. (SMWS)80? p
1992 10 y.o. (Bar Metro)     78 p

An in­ter­est­ing finding was that most of the older bottlings could be placed in one of two categories:

  • Mild, bal­anced, restrained with integrated flavours (LOTI, 1975, 1972-Mar)
  • Powerful, energetic, exciting yet a bit unbal­anced (1977, 1973-Mar, 1972-Nov)

We found notes of tropical fruits and/or sherry wood in the whiskies in the milder category and our theory is that they've been "tamed" by the influence of (refill) sherry casks.

To me the biggest surprises were the 25 y.o. OB (which I had previously rated at 87 points), and the "Very Young Ardbeg". It had lots of peat and iodine at first but revealed very nice, sweet, fruity notes with water. A great promise for the future!

—   o   —

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