Get this: Master of Malt, who have tons of whisky, also do single cask bottlings themselves!
Oh, everyone knew that. Guess here in Canada, where Single Cask bottlings offend the Governor General or some such horseshit, it’s still pretty amazing to me.
Man I wish we’d fix our laws here. Oh well, at least I had friends who were willing to sit on this sample for me.
I’ve had quite a few Ardbegs from the 70s. Or at least quite a few by my standards (3). That’s more than women I’ve slept with (Citation sad) Granted my wife is simultaneously happy and sad (I’ll let you figure out that joke for yourself)
But from the 90s? I don’t really know. This was distilled when I was in grade 1. I can think of some I’ve had, though none for certain.
Ah well. When else am I going to get a chance to try Ardbeg 23 1991 Single Cask from those crazy Star-struck devils at Master of Malt, screaming into empty bottles.
Man this headache isn’t helping my writing. That was garbage.
Okay, so it’s Ardbeg from when they started back up, in an ex-bourbon cask of some size, and it’s single cask. That convinces me to put it in my mouth.
Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario, probably due to offending a Canada goose or some shit.
Distillation Date: 01 Feb 1991
Bottling Date: 02 Jan 2015
Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon
Colour: 5Y 9/6
Nose: Pear, smoke, floral, melon, dandelion, red beans (that may have fermented a little bit), woodworking in summer, peanut brittle, dusting
Wow. I’m impressed. This takes what I assume is a good barrel, and showcases it’s talents. Like MoM is a pimp (that’s Freudian).
Good use of floral and fermented notes. Not something that usually shows up, and I don’t know how many people will enjoy it. That all said, I like it personally. Sets off some minor memories as well, though nothing too concrete.
Taste: Peat, black bean, caramel, basil, mint, pear
So at first this comes off as younger than it really is. It’s a bit simple. That said, it still has this interesting, earthy bean element that saves it from meh.
And I’ve said it before: Even standard Ardbeg tastes really nice, so I’m happy with this dram. The combination makes sense.
Finish: Lemon, mushroom, butter, dry, woody, umami, fried honey, curry
And the finish saves the day, like Aquaman or The Thing.
What, I’m suppose to give you the regulars? Let the B squad get some hits.
Took me awhile to identify the fried honey elements. I had it half a year ago, yet that’s 100% this flavour. It’s also interesting to note this is like Corvvy, yet more nuanced. Given more time to grow.
Conclusion: I think comparing young and old peated drams is a mistake. This is an old dram, so I’ll compare it with those.
I’ve heard that 1970s Ardbeg is made 100 times better with better casks. Given that’s the case (haven’t even really, really tested it too much), and I’ll take all of my fellow reviewers thoughts to heart, this does pretty good.
Actually, I’ll go one step further: If you want to try Ardbeg from the 1970s, and can’t afford the current going price of at least $1000, then buy this. It’s as close as you can get for under $400. Is it as good? Debatable. However it’s good, great even, and worth your time.
Scotch review #422, Islay review #87, Whisky Network review #655