Tasting: Ardbeg 1993 25 years old by Cadenhead’s

Ardbeg 1993 25 years old by Cadenhead's

Ardbeg. One of those distilleries I have a love/hate relationship with. I’m rather fond of the distillery itself and the base distillate they produce but I’m less than enthusiastic about the over-the-top branding with all the flannel and the special releases, it just doesn’t appeal to me. These days I might get a bottle of the still very good TEN every once in a blue moon when it’s on sale but I ignore the rest. That also includes independently bottled Ardbegs. At one point Ardbeg was a distillery you HAD to buy casks of if you wanted casks from one of the higher-valued distilleries in their owner’s portfolio. These days independently owned casks are rare, sought after and priced accordingly. In my opinion and experience, the only somewhat sanely priced bottler of Ardbeg remains Cadenhead’s – and even their current prices are above what I’m personally willing to pay. So I guess this is already sold out in most markets but thanks to the shop in Vienna (who miraculously still seem to have stock, according to their website, at the time of writing) I was sent a wee sample to have a wee nose and taste…

Ardbeg 1993 25 years old by Cadenhead's

Dram data:
Distillery: Ardbeg
Bottler: Cadenhead’s
Distilled: 1993
Bottled: 2019
Age: 25 years
Limitation: 216 bottles
Cask: Hogshead
Alcohol: 51,6%
uncoloured / not chill filtered
Whiskybase link

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Scotland trip 2014 – part 4: South of Islay – touring Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg

Ardbeg Distillery Courtyard

Day 9: Islay

Even on a small island like Islay you can spend quite some time in your car getting to places – especially when you’re staying on the opposite end. Thus it only made sense for us three brothers to spend an entire  – hot and sunny – day touring all three distilleries in the south, starting early in the morning at Lagavulin.

Lagavulin

Freshly painted Lagavulin Distillery
Freshly painted Lagavulin Distillery

Lagavulin, like Bunnahabhain, is a less “touristy” distillery. Not as posh and polished as others with a kind of “old-school” feeling to it. Old, simple, painted steel staircases, narrow paths – putting the working environment first and the tourist attraction last. The charming insides speak volumes about the decades and decades of use and the history of the place, as well as a need of investment in some areas. But, on the other hand, why bother, tourists aren’t allowed to take pictures anyway and Scots are known for being stingy 😉
Anyway, out tour guide for the day was a charming young lady named Sophie and we were in luck, it was yet another very small group. The tour certainly felt positively different from all the others, Lagavulin really has a special “feel” to it, probably due to the old-style, unpolished charm of the place and the narrowness full of nooks and crannies. Continue reading “Scotland trip 2014 – part 4: South of Islay – touring Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg”

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Tasting: Ardbeg Auriverdes

ardbeg_auriverdesDram data:

Distillery: Ardbeg
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2014
Age: ?
Limitation: 6600 (inofficial sources)
Price at the time of purchasing: 89€
Casks: ex-bourbon with freshly toasted lids
Alcohol: 49,9%
Uncoloured & Unchillfiltered
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
Colour: Red gold. The nose is typically Ardbeg. Salty, briny, iodine, burnt newspaper, ground coffee, vanilla sweetness. A bit more burnt vanilla than the standard Ardbeg Ten, but that’s the only cask influence I can detect. Liquorice, honey and caramel in the background. Continue reading “Tasting: Ardbeg Auriverdes”

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Tasting: Ardbeg Corryvreckan

ardbeg_corryvreckanDram data:

Distillery: Ardbeg
Bottler: Official bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: 2009 (lot: L9 231)
Age: NAS
Limitation: –
Price at the time of purchasing: 57€
Casks: french oak + ex-bourbon
Alcohol: 57,1%
Unchillfiltered & natural color
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
The dram has a very nice amber/red-gold colour. On the nose I get an immediate hit of alcohol paired with the very typical, phenolic, punchy Ardbeg peat which people tend to either love or hate – I happen to like it very, very much. Continue reading “Tasting: Ardbeg Corryvreckan”

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