I visited a good friend a while ago and while we chatted on whisky (as expected), we also had a couple of drams from his rich ‘library’. Since we were on a peat strike he pulled out this whisky bottle – a bit older Ardbeg indie bottling. This one was distilled before Ardbeg went through the last owner change and overhaul so it’s interesting to see what is the whisky character of this one comparing to older Ardbegs I tasted in the past.
Ardbeg 10 Year Old 1996 Old Malt Cask #3058 (50%)
Nose: A classic Ardbeg profile with big hit of peat, ashes although not as strong as current offering, lemon and wet cut hay. Left it in the glass for a while and sniffed more lemon and fruity notes with whiffs of cigar smoke.
Palate: Starts with big peat hit, Lemon, Ex-bourbon impact with sweetness of honey vanilla, some smoke and charred oak wood.
Finish: Long and satisfying finish with lemon, smoked oak and charcoals, lingering sweetness and peat.
Conclusion: Lovely indie bottling of Ardbeg. Like previous old Ardbegs I tried, the lemon is prominent and the ashes are dimmer – could be Old Bottle Effect (OBE) or perhaps it was less peaty back then, but still a very enjoyable and lovely Ardbeg. I couldn’t find this one for sale on the internet anywhere but even so, if you see this bottle anywhere for decent price, it is worth grabbing.