Lord of the Isles is a vatting of Ardbeg casks distilled in 1974, 1975 and 1976. It contains 15% sherry matured spirit and 85% ex-bourbon.
Ardbeg ‘Lord of the Isles’ 25 yo
(46%, OB 2007)
Nose: starts quite shy and mostly fruity. After being warmed up, it shows a remarkably gentle and elegant character. Very leathery, with mellow peat smoke, orange marmalade, yellow apples, marzipan, warm cake… Subtle hints of boat rope and tar. A light layer of earthy and farmy notes. Some tobacco. Overall very complex, very integrated and a masterpiece of balance. Jim Murray says there’s a light soapiness on the nose – I don’t agree, although there’s a noticeable floweriness.
Mouth: still quite some fruits, a tad more tropical and sweeter than on the nose (lime). More peat and smoke now. Leather and tobacco again. Walnuts. Some spices (pink pepper). Lightly salted.
Finish: long, drier, smoky and slightly medicinal. Hints of chalk.
An Ardbeg in the old style, a lot more refined than the modern stuff. Respect. It could have been truly heavenly at cask strength though. Still available in a few stores for around € 300.