I have a large amount of old samples waiting in my whisky cupboard, a few hundreds at least, brought together over the last eight years or so. Some magnificent single cask Ardbegs as well, and sometimes I simply don’t find the time to enjoy them (always waiting for a special moment, you know). Here we go with an excellent dram, for no special reason: Ardbeg 1974 cask #5666.
Ardbeg 31 yo 1974 (51,8%, OB 2006, bourbon cask #5666, 168 btl.)
Nose: walnuts and gentle peat up front, but it develops almond milk (horchata) and lemon sweets as well. Turkish delight! Rosehip syrup? Sweet marzipan. Butter pastry and vanilla. Quite a round nose. Nice turpentine and camphor underneath. A little herbal syrup. Back to vanilla latte. Beeswax. Even hints of musk? Grand.
Mouth: less rounded now, highly mentholated. Marzipan again, aromatic pepper, lemon pie and bergamot. Heather. Cinnamon. Still a hint of Turkish delight. Something in between Pu-Erh and Jasmin tea. Sweet liquorice. Hints of Benedictine. The best cough syrup ever.
Finish: very long, still sweet, herbal and leathery.
A magnificent Ardbeg. Surprising sweet notes, floral notes and some of the best herbal liqueurs. Those were the days, my friend. So, you want one? Expect to pay around € 1400 now.