Ardbeg 1991 (Malts of Scotland – Hotel Bero 2014)

Lindores Whisky Fest 2014 is taking place this weekend. There are two festival bottlings, both from the Malts of Scotland stocks.

The official one is a Laphroaig 1996 matured in a brandy (!) hogshead, the other one this Ardbeg 1991 from a sherry hogshead. While the label says bottled for Geert’s Whisky Bar @ Hotel Bero it is only for sale this weekend so you can call it a second festival bottling.

Mind that there has already been a similar Ardbeg 1991 for Hotel Bero in 2011.



Ardbeg 1991 - Malts of Scotland for Hotel Bero 2014Ardbeg 23 yo 1991 (48,9%, Malts of Scotland for Hotel Bero 2014, sherry hogshead, ref. MoS 14054, 185 btl.)

Nose: the sherry is less thick than last time, if I remember correctly. This usually means higher complexity. Lots of cold ashes and coal smoke, leather, hints of flax ropes and burnt chestnuts. A box of cigars, maybe two. Also a faint medicinal note, something like eucalyptus cream. Liquorice and soft brine. Oil lamps. Dark chocolate after a while, blackberries as well.

Mouth: very oily and fairly dry, again much sootier and less sherried than its predecessor. Quite a lovely, old-school style – so far away from recent official Ardbegs and so much closer to old Port Ellen or 1970’s Ardbeg. Pipe tobacco. Little fruity notes, although there is a vague sweetness of (dark) chocolate. Leather and liquorice.

Finish: very long, with liquorice, deep cigar smoke and smoked ham. Just enough chocolate roundness again.

Just excellent, even better than the previous cask. Good to see this style is still possible. Only for sale at Hotel Bero – € 345 a bottle and strictly one per person. This will be gone by Monday.

Score: 92/100