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Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

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Young Ardbegs - the full set!

 14 Jun 2008  

Recently I bought the Ardbeg "Still Young" and also the new "Renaissance". Now my set of young Ardbegs is complete... That's a vertical tast­ing waiting to happen! And of course, it hap­pened! =) My tast­ing notes:

Very Young Ardbeg 1997-2003 (58.9%):
The Committee Reserve bottling that started it all! Peat, iodine and youthful cereal notes on the nose. Peppery palate; with (more) water it de­velops a very nice, sweet fruitiness. All in all, however, it's a bit rough and "dirty" (as opposed to "clean"). (84 p)

Ardbeg Very Young 1998-2004 (58.3%):
Very peaty nose with iodine but also nice fruity notes. Light yet power­ful palate with iodine and lots of peat. It's also sweet and fairly clean but a little rough around the edges. Lighter, cleaner and nicer than the Committee bottling. (85 p)

Ardbeg Still Young 1998-2006 (56.2%):
Quite nice nose with wood smoke, notes of tar, cereal and a hint of citrus fruit. Quite peaty palate, at first light and clean with a hint of citrus fruit, then de­velops iodine and youthful cereal notes. Milder and a little cleaner than the AVY. (85 p)

Ardbeg Almost There 1998-2007 (54.1%):
Wood smoke, tar and iodine on the nose, also a note of apples. Sweet, fruity, peaty palate; rather nice even though it's a little immature. Milder, richer and more bal­anced than AVY and ASY. On the other hand not quite as lively and in­ter­est­ing, but I rather like this one. Doesn't need much water. (86 p)

Ardbeg Renaissance 1998-2008 (55.9%):
Peaty nose with notes of mint and fruits: apricot, melon, banana... Wonderful! They must have used some ex­cel­lent bourbon casks for this! The palate is dry, sharp and very peaty; the fruits are still present but in the background. The palate seems sur­pris­ingly brutal after the complex, fruity nose. Spicy, peaty, intense finish even with plenty of water. "We've arrived!" it says on the back label. The reborn Ardbeg has come of age, I agree, but I wonder if they can stay at this level of cask quality for the new "Ten"... (87 p)

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