Ardbeg 1972/2000, 28yo
Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask
Islay Single Malt Whisky
price unknown, my guess is £300
While I am delighted to celebrate Malt Mission #100, I am also pretty pissed off. This morning I wrote a bit of this post, tasted the dram and wrote down impressions. I was going to write a bit more now and post it only to find the original saved post was gone. Argh. To be honest, I am surprised it took this long for something like this to happen. The only other thing I am surprised hasn't happened yet is to spill a dram all over my laptop. Fingers crossed that won't happen until at least MM500.
The good news is that I have about 5ml left in the wee sampler bottle and get to try again. I will be relying somewhat on memory from this morning.
So here we are, Malt Mission 100. Sure, it may not be much to the Malt Maniacs or to Taylor Smisson (of the now discontinued Malt Drinker's Diary), or other crazy whisky nerds out there, but I am happy. I mean, I like Star Trek, but to tell you what stardate Picard lost his father, what a soliton wave is, or to send you a wedding invitation in Klingon is WAY beyond me. This blog has, from the beginning with Johnnie Walker Black, been about sharing information about Scottish whisky in an inclusive, fun, and informative way. I hope it succeeds at that, and continues to do so. My liver feels great.
Over the weekend and next week, as a part of the official centenary celebration, I will share some of the funny searches that have led folks to the blog, I will attempt to make list of my Top Pics(so far), and will dole out the thank-yous that so many of you deserve for forwarding the page to others, posting links on websites, sharing drams, reading and commenting.
Speaking of sharing drams, a big thanks to Michael Hopert sharing a drop of this little gem from his own collection. Prost! Let's taste (again).
This is one of just 222 bottles from this particular cask. It is from the last year of distillation at Ardbeg before being handed over to the Ardbeg Distillery Trust, the first stage of the eventual Hiram Walker take over of the distillery, and one of the last years of 'old, peaty' Ardbeg, when the whisky was still made from barley malted in Ardbeg's own maltings.
For more Ardbeg info see Malt Missions 15, 20, and 70
Concentrated, immediately rich and sexy. Starburst or Opal Fruits off the top over piles of peat. Leaf fires. Thick and hearty. Gummy. Juicy Fruit sweetness, Thai lime freshness with a meaty heart. Deep fried cinnamon dough. Bloody appetising.
The power potential can be felt immediately in the mouth. So controlled. Amazing. Like a sprinter in ready position, you can feel the liquid's excitement at what it is about to show you. Bursts into a smoked salmon cream spread, more of that synthetic fruit sweetness with a full breath of dried fruits and toasty oak. The organic, mineral, dirty Ardbeg characteristics are also all present. Yard fires in the autumn. Exhale smoke and stone.
Even if I tried (and I'm trying!) to get down everything this whisky is doing, I would be doomed to failure. This is a beautiful whisky, full of character. A dram to visit and revisit. It engages you in a sensory conversation that only a fool would rush. With this beauty you would easily spend a beautiful, memorable night, and you wouldn't hesitate to call in the morning.
After I had it this morning, I could still taste the stony peat up to 4 hours later.
Malt Mission #96
Malt Mission #97
Malt Mission #98
Malt Mission #99
Malt Mission HOME