Middle-aged Ardbeg, especially matured in a sherry cask, is something every bottler wants to have. Malts of Scotland released a couple already and now there’s one in the occasional Amazing Casks series.
The cask has been selected by Malts of Scotland’s Thomas Ewers and Ardbeg collector Geert Bero.
Ardbeg 16 yo 1998 (58,2%, Malts of Scotland ‘Amazing Casks’ 2014, ref. Mos 14027, 222 btl.)
Nose: slightly rubbery (tires) and beefy / vegetal at first. Chocolate and mastic. Some liquorice, chestnuts and leather. After a while it becomes more classic, with tar and plum jam, but it stays too much on the dirty side for me.
Mouth: sweet peat (though not THAT big), chocolate, figs and ashes. There’s camphor and resin, some walnuts. A sourish side as well (raspberry and grapefruit). Nice balance of sweet and dry elements.
Finish: long, ashy with salty hints and dried fruits.
Ardbeg and sherry can lead to a very nice marriage. The previous Ardbeg from Geert and Thomas was a great example. In this case I have some trouble with the beefy parts of the nose, but overall it keeps growing in the nice direction. Allow it to breathe. Around € 200.