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Ardbeg 26 yo 1993 The Islay Giants Quaich Bar 49% vs Bowmore 1989 / 2011 Malts of Scotland #11004 51.2%

Ardbeg 26 yo 1993 The Islay Giants Quaich Bar 49%

This is classic maritime Ardbeg, pre LVMH, bracing and evocative. Its nose is joyfully seaswept with a crystal saline clarity, closely followed by sweet smoke from the shore, where someone’s grilling asparagus. Of course there’s peat but again it’s of the rooty sort, redolent of black oil and deep earth. Despite leaning towards svelteness, a host of nuances give it translucent depth: Elemi, cold ash, lit tobacco, hot metal and a cocktail of lemon rind, castor oil, crushed seaweed, gritty white granite chips and juniper. This is the very epitome of a coastal Ardbeg, my preferred sort of Ardbeg, with a precision and freshness undiminished by age. 91 pts

Bowmore 1989 / 2011 Malts of Scotland #11004 51.2%

I know what everyone is thinking, no its not one of the perfumed ones. Thankfully the nose is first met by fresh lit smoke and fuel at the point of ignition. It’s also clear its not one of the clean ones. Muddy brown seawater with a layer of oil, sticky rubber and a lump of coal follows. Some oily aspects, burnt rye toast, minerals, stripped bark and a drop of wintergreen oil loll about, making this an interesting Bowmore, but one without any excitement or compelling focus. The ghost of a vague floralcy reminiscent of old potpourri does haunt its corners, and its really rather best to avoid it and move on. 86 pts

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2021 by in Ardbeg, Bowmore and tagged , .
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