We’ll go back in time a little further and try this Ardbeg 1965. Rarely seen and way too expensive to even think about acquiring. Distilled April 1965 and bottled July 1978.
Ardbeg 13 yo 1965
(46%, Cadenhead 1978, 75 cl)
Nose: very clear metallic notes, say silver polish. Some wax and minerals. Also wet wool and a bit too much cardboard. Slightly disappointing, certainly because it does show a soft fruitiness hidden in the back. Old but not a classic Islay profile. I’m wondering how much of this comes down to the original spirit and how much to bottle aging.
Mouth: not very punchy, again quite metallic, with different sorts of mint (fresh mint, mint tea). Cough drops. Herbal liqueur. Big hints of tea as well. Not exactly what I expected (hardly any peat for instance) but quite enjoyable.
Finish: not too long, dry with traces of wood and metallics again.
I’m not really sure how to score this Ardbeg. I haven’t tasted many things like this and the metallic nose and shy finish seem to indicate it might have spent a few too many years in the bottle. The result is a very expensive cough syrup. Around € 1800.