So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Ardbeg 10 ~1975 vs Ardbeg 24 yo Cadenhead for Sestante ~1965

By now you must have heard that 2 illustrious figures in the whisky world have left us.

Dr Jim Swan was a veritable fountain of knowledge and expertise and was frequently called upon as consultant and adviser to many a distillery both Scotch and worldwide. Not to take away from his vast achievements but I was especially taken aback to hear that Silvano Samaroli had also passed on a day or so later. Mr. Samaroli was on his way back from holidaying in Singapore and Myanmar and passed on mid-flight. Such is his reputation that his name is now synonymous with some of the absolutely best whisky every bottled by man. Such a man turns into the cold night, and passes into legend.

I hope to salute both men, but unfortunately my supply of stellar Samarolis is not quite as voluminous as I wished it was. So I find it perhaps more fitting to select something completely exquisite instead. We are familiar with Ardbeg of the 70s, great distillate yes, but 60s Ardbeg?


Ardbeg 10 yo ~bottled 1975 40%


Nose Nose: Seems like Ardbeg in the 60s was not producing superpowered peaters if this is anything to go by, in fact this noses just like a modern 30 yo Caol Ila might, minus the oak and watered down to 40%. Rather gentle, and maritime before peaty. Salt air, salt encrusted rocks and old line, cold embers and soot smeared empty oil cans. Some old smoke hangs in the air. Much like a fishing pier that hasn’t come to life yet.Very soft fruit, but it is zesty as it should be. Salted lemons and last night’s squeezed out lemon rinds chucked into the fire. But maybe this was distilled closer to the 70s? hmm..

Taste Palate: Everything the nose is, and yes weak body at 40% but isn’t quite feeble as feared either, more lemon zest and some bigger phenolic mineral oils and a more immediate smoke. In fact it does have quite a bit to say still. Hints of bitter herbal liquers. It does quickly move on though

Finish Finish: Came too soon. Salty, zest, sooty and bitter.




Ardbeg 24 yo ~ word is 1965 … Cadenhead for Sestante 54.4%


Nose Nose: Same profile, but turned up. This one has more obvious phenolics than coastal notes though – thick soot, and wood ash, blackened copper pans, bags of charcoal. Nice deep smoke. Tarred ropes, and bit of cough syrup, real mentholated cough syrup. The sea rushes in at this point, and the lemon, and salt… and it’s just great.

Taste Palate: A beautiful deep blend of lemony zest, phenolics, hot grills, smoke, coal dust and dried peat, rock salt and the sea. Hints of mustiness. Fantastic. Just fantastic. Developing into drier petrochemicals like old oil cans and old wax tins.

Finish Finish: Long, resinous smoke, zesty-dry. more little old wax notes appearing.


I know someone who didn’t quite like this as much, but I do think it is fabulous.

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2017 by in Ardbeg and tagged .
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