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Ardbeg 21 yo 1992 #10065 Old Particular vs Ardbeg 23 yo 1991 #10274 Directors’ Cut

New Ardbegs at 20+ years exists but are fairly uncommon. And now that news on the new official 21 yo has done the media circuit, seems like a great time to revisit this very interesting time in Ardbeg’s history. The math says the new 21 must be distilled in 1994/5 or earlier, and it can’t really be much earlier because of the very limited production those years when it was owned by Allied and the Laphroaig crew ran the stills just to keep things in order. As LVMH only bought over Ardbeg in 1997, we can be sure there’s not that much of the stuff betwen 1989-1996 anyway.

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Ardbeg 21 yo 1992 #10065 Old Particular 48.6%

ardbeg-211992-10065

Nose Nose: This is no huge Ardbeg, it is however very good. Mellow, elegant and pristine. Ardbeg always seemed to me the most maritime of the three big ones and at 21 years this one has taken all that and refined it into as genteel a dram and one might imagine an Ardbeg might be. Salt spray, tarry ropes, wet sackcloth, clean smoke, good peat tang, shrivelled lemons, a drop of something bitter herbal like cocktail bitters, mixed into something very clean and also very fresh.

Taste Palate: Reveals itself to be exactly that. A subtle well aged somewhat creaky jointed Ardbeg. Big salt and seawater quality is first apparent, and always clean and zesty-sweet, only the gentle earthy peat provides some earthiness; And a very gently tarriness. Getting more bitter and salty smoke to the finish.

Finish Finish: Somewhat weak and a little too mellow. Feels throttled. This is one that should have been given full strength.

Score90

Elegant and subtle. And very different from Laphroaig or Lagavulin at this age from this time. I almost feel it losing some power at this age.

 

Ardbeg 23 yo 1991 #10274 Directors’ Cut 53.1%

ardbeg-23-1991-10274

Nose Nose: Very much in the same subtle and elegant camp, but this one has oodles more wood influence. Muddling wood notes appear first – toffee and burnt sugar, more oaky tannins, but a moment later the refined maritime nose which emerges is essentially the same. Obvious salt-tarry rope-smoke here too, with the same clean freshness, but much less lemon zing, less peat tang. Both are goodwhiskies.

Taste Palate: Again, what you nose is what you get. Warm toffee sweetness and wood spices. Some menthol-licorice-black pepper going on here. Almost drowns out the clean maritime quality of this Ardbeg but .. no, again it makes a small comeback some moments later. The wood and the sweetness is not loud but managed to occupy centrestage here.

Finish Finish: Burnt sugar and smoke, oak tannins, saltspray and peat.

Score87

The wood is not huge or blocky but even so it manages to trip up this otherwise pristine Ardbeg. Good not great.

 

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2 comments on “Ardbeg 21 yo 1992 #10065 Old Particular vs Ardbeg 23 yo 1991 #10274 Directors’ Cut

  1. Carissa Hickling
    October 29, 2016

    A more mellow Ardbeg (or two!) sound rather appealing overall despite a few flaws you noted. 🙂

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This entry was posted on October 26, 2016 by in Ardbeg and tagged .
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