Single cask Ardbegs are hugely popular, even though they are usually priced quite high. But old Ardbeg can be stunning so let’s investigate this 31 years old Ardbeg 1975 cask #1378, matured in a sherry butt and bottled at cask strength on the 8th of November 2006.
Ardbeg 31yo 1975
(53,7%, OB 2006, cask #1378, 453 btl)
Nose: great ‘old style’ Ardbeg with much less peat than we’re used to today. Big notes of camphor. A certain mellow sweetness from the sherry butt, with hints of cocoa and wonderful fruits (mainly berries and papaya). Some cinnamon and ashes. Slightly coastal as well, with hints of boat rope and wet sand. Great integration overall and very complex.
Mouth: sweet start, perfect strength. Very chocolaty. More peat now than on the nose. Quite some oak too. Hints of salted nuts and raisins. Elegant and balanced. Getting drier and quite tannic towards the end.
Finish: dry and very long, smokey, nutty and oaky. Waves of sherry and cocoa in the background.
If you want to try this one, you’ll have to pay over € 600. Too much for my wallet, but surely an Ardbeg masterpiece, complex with superb balance.