Ardbeg 1973 (Douglas Laing Platinum)

Ardbeg 1973 - DL Old & Rare Platinum

This 36 years old Ardbeg 1973 is probably one of the rarest bottlings, with only 78 bottles. Douglas Laing has bottled quite a few Ardbegs from this era, in the Old Malt Cask series (early 2000s) and later in this Old & Rare Platinum series. It is said to be one of their best Ardbegs, with the younger sibling 30yo 1973 (98 bottles) roughly on the same level.



Ardbeg 36 yo 1973/2009 - Douglas Laing PlatinumArdbeg 36 yo 1973 (44,7%, Douglas Laing Old & Rare Platinum 2009, 78 btl.)

Nose: starts on mellow peat that breaks up into soft leather, chalky Manzanilla Pasada, fresh lemons, also candied lemons and wonderful medicinal notes. Rather farmy, in a sweet-and-sour kind of way. Wet hay and wet wool. Seaweed and oysters. Cloves. Paraffin. Metal polish. Underneath there is a sweet layer of quinces and marzipan. Funny how it becomes slightly perfumed at times and then goes back to its more austere side.

Mouth: impressive, because it is sharp and fruity at the same time. Thick citrus notes, perhaps a hint of kiwi, alongside dried herbs, hay again, and intense coastal notes. Earthy notes, a slight resinous touch, smoked fish. Almonds and hazelnuts. Subtle tarry notes. Light rubber, which suits it.

Finish: long, dry but also quite chewy. The Manzanilla returns.

Impressive Ardbeg. There’s a fruity base but it packs lots of dry, coastal, medicinal layers too. Perfect strength as well. Rarely seen in auctions, a very low yield after all.

Score: 95/100