Whisky Review: Ardbeg 21 Years Old 1992 Hogshead cask 430

Category: Islay single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Ardbeg Distillery

Bottling: WhiskyBroker

ABV: 42.5%

Cost: sold out ~ £130-140 at auction

ardbeg-21-year-old-1992-whiskybroker-2

What they say:

Distilled 19th March 1992 and bottled 30th October 2013 at 42.5% cask strength after 21 years maturation in Hogshead #430, producing 286 bottles

What I say:

Dramvent Calender Day 15

This December I am attempting to sample and review a whisky everyday for the 24 days of Advent in the run up to Christmas. My very basic criteria as I sorted through my masses of whisky and samples were these:

  1. Single malt scotch only and should be (or have been) generally/easily available
  2. Each day must be from a different distillery
  3. Each day must be equivalent in age or older than the previous

Another 21 year old, of slightly older vintage and potentially rarer stock,  hailing from the Islay Kildalton great: Ardbeg Distillery. Bottled by WhiskyBroker independent bottler and broker of whisky casks. I couldn’t find the original price for this bottle but wouldn’t be surprised if was crazily sensible at £60-£70 a bottle originally!

Colour:

Very light gold, bright but a touch of haze (3/20), bold medium-sized tears leave medium-fine legs

Nose:

Light peat, zesty citrus lemon juice, quite fresh, fresh linen, vanilla cream, malty cereal barley, leathery and oak wood tannins, metallic copper and iron filings, more peat smoke lingers

Taste:

Vanilla cream, vanilla slice pastries, soft fudge, freshly milled malted cereal barley, biscuits; lemon puff and custard creams, mineralic peat influence, builds, with mossy and earthen notes, becomes gently tarry and dirtier like peat soot and grime

Finish:

Long, mineralic and earthen peat smoke, slightly metallic tang returns with a sweet creamy vanilla/crème anglaise,

Overall:

Ardbeg’s peaty beast of a spirit has been truly tamed in this single cask expression. The Hogshead has worked masses of sweet and creamy vanilla into this whisky, however a slightly metallic tang remains that could have arisen in the original distillate? The result is hugely drinkable even though the peat influence is still prominent, it is smooth and approachable and I could easily drink a lot more of this if I had too (or if I had it!)

Score: 88/100

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