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Ardbeg 16yo 'Airigh Nam Beist'

General chat and talk about whisky.

Postby Di Blasi » Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:21 pm

The '90 Beast won this past weekend at the Oslo Whisky Festival for best whisky over 12 years old, well deserved. But I think it is much different to the standard Ten. The Ten is smoky and powerful, yes, but still smooth. While the 1990 is quite soft and tame, sweeter and mellow. They're different, and it's definitely worth getting both! Compare for yourself and see what you think!
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Postby Admiral » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:03 pm

My take on it is that the Beast is intended to replace the old 17yo bottling, both in age and flavour profile.

(The old 17yo was always softer and less peatier).

Cheers,
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Postby Di Blasi » Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:10 pm

Admiral wrote:My take on it is that the Beast is intended to replace the old 17yo bottling, both in age and flavour profile.

(The old 17yo was always softer and less peatier).

Cheers,
ADmiral


A great replacement then! The 17y I didn't quite understand, too soft, not only for an Ardbeg. This new 16y is excellent, but doesn't fit "The Beast" name. It is worth getting though!
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Postby Nidaros » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:36 pm

It seems I need them both... Both Uigeadail and The Beast.

By the way, Di Blasi, did you see Highland Park 30 is now in the Vinmonopolet? Quite expensive, of course, but cheaper than at the Highland Park website...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:39 pm

Nidaros wrote:By the way, Di Blasi, did you see Highland Park 30 is now in the Vinmonopolet? Quite expensive, of course, but cheaper than at the Highland Park website...


Can you get the 25? I like it better, and it's cheaper, too (although "cheap" is relative).
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Postby Di Blasi » Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:49 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:
Nidaros wrote:By the way, Di Blasi, did you see Highland Park 30 is now in the Vinmonopolet? Quite expensive, of course, but cheaper than at the Highland Park website...


Can you get the 25? I like it better, and it's cheaper, too (although "cheap" is relative).


Yes Nidaros, I saw that!! I tasted the Highland Park 30y a few weeks back, but need a few more tastes to make a judgement. The 25y I tasted last week, and that was very good, better than I remember it! Did you see what else the Vinmonopolet has? It's an exciting time for us here, lots of great whisky coming in! And price wise, okay too. The Port Ellen 6th Release is 1400kr, meaning with the exchange rate cheaper for us to get here than in the UK, not bad at all!
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Postby Nidaros » Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:50 am

Highland park 25 is on the top of my wishlist right now. It is 1250 kr (almost exactly £100) which is actually quite reasonable. The norwegian alcohol policy has some peculiar effect, making crap whisky relatively expensive, and the good stuff relatively cheap

Do you recommend the Port Ellen 6th edition? A good tip for a christmas gift for myself perhaps?
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Postby Nidaros » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:29 am

By the way, really nice to be given the Highland park 25 5cl bottle on leaving Whisky Live in Glasgow. I overcame the temptation to down it on the train like most of my company did.

It is a fantastic whisky.
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:27 pm

Nidaros wrote:Highland park 25 is on the top of my wishlist right now. It is 1250 kr (almost exactly £100) which is actually quite reasonable. The norwegian alcohol policy has some peculiar effect, making crap whisky relatively expensive, and the good stuff relatively cheap

Do you recommend the Port Ellen 6th edition? A good tip for a christmas gift for myself perhaps?


As usual, I always like to taste a new whisky, (new to me), a few times before making a judgement. I tasted the Port Ellen this past weekend at the Oslo Whisky Festival, and it didn't make me jump like when I tasted the 3rd Release last year. I have ordered a bottle nevertheless, but not sure if I'll drink it or keep it for investment, time will tell. Also, when a new bottle is just opened, I don't think it's actually ready til it has time to breath, similar to wine, but not quite the same, as it takes much more time for the whisky to be at its best. I'll taste it again, and still add a bottle to my collection. The price is reasonable, actually cheaper than getting in the UK with the exchange rate, 1400kr.
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Postby Nidaros » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:37 pm

Hmmm

I need a better paying job. So many whiskies I want to try out... :)

Well, I am adding it to my wish list for sure. Not sure whether to put this on top or behind Highland Park 25.

Bunnahabhain 25 is also something I want really badly, but unfortunately this is not available....
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:46 pm

I'd put the Port Ellen above the Highland Park as the Port Ellen may sell out here in Norway. And I think the Highland Park is not limited, will continue to come to Norway, and soon, in the new packaging. The Bunnahabhain 25y will come to Norway, but in limited amounts, and not sure if it will be available at the Vinmonopolet or just for the HORECA market. If you really want it, (it is good!), order it from the Vinmonopolet and they'll in turn contact the importer, perhaps Strøm will then be further convinced to bring it in in larger quantities. Good luck!
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Postby Nidaros » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:30 pm

Yeah that's a good point, about limited availability...

Probably I will make the Port Ellen priority for now. If it's true what you say about breathing, I might buy just one bottle and drink it over a long time, unless it is degraded...


As far as the Bunnahabhain 25 goes, I will contact them, in order to find out what kind of arrangements that can be made. It seems to be around £150 in Great Britain. Wonder how much it would be here then? Somewhere between 1500-2000 probably?
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Postby Di Blasi » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:39 pm

Yes, I think it will be closer to 2000kr, but don't remember exactly off hand. As for the "breathing time," the less amount in the bottle, for the longer period of time, yes, degradation surely is a factor.
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Postby Nidaros » Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:42 pm

Hehe

Maybe I will steal some argon or nitrogen at work to keep it preserved in an inert atmosphere....
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:02 pm

I'm planning to get some 10cl and 20cl bottles and rebottling whisky I don't want to finish right away. I think this way I will be able to have more than my usual five or six bottles open without worrying so much about deteriorative evaporation.

I know inert gases are, well, inert, but somehow I have a feeling it might not be the best thing for whisky to lie under a blanket of it. A little oxygen is good, maybe. Just a gut feeling with no empirical evidence. Possibly a bias picked up from cask ales, which are supposed to oxidize, up to a point.

And another thought--it would be interesting to compare deterioration in low-level bottles of whisky at cask strength vs 40% or 43%. The former can probably withstand some evaporation better than the latter. After all, that's part of what goes on in the cask for ten or twenty years.
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Postby Nidaros » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:36 pm

This is very interesting.

The ethanol itself is reducing and can possibly quench oxidized products. I am sure that in a whisky there are plenty of oxidizable compounds. However, I think that the ethanol might "protect" many of these.

In wine, alcohol is oxidized to acetic acid. I assume that this would happen in whisky as well. If this is the case, then an accumulation of acetic acid would mean that the whisky is oxidized. I once saw a method of using NMR spectroscopy (similar to MR imaging) of detecting alcohol content and acetic acid concentration, without opening the bottle.

I think especially sulfur compounds are the ones that are the most easily oxidized. What this will do to the taste is hard to predict.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:58 pm

I imagine that oxides of sulphur give that sulphurous taste more than straight sulphur itself, or other compounds of it. But I'm only guessing.

There has been a lot of discussion about this here previously--check the FAQ's, and do a search on oxidation or oxidize/oxidise. These terms are thrown about a bit loosely, I think--oxidation is a particular chemical process, and it's my guess that most of the deterioration we experience in low-level or long-open bottles is simply evaporation, mostly of alcohol, and possibly of other volatile substances. Obviously different components evaporate at different rates, which is essentially what makes distillation possible in the first place. I always suggest leaving a dram out overnight and seeing what it tastes like the next day--bloody awful, is what. That suggests simple evaporation to me. But, as St Lawrence says, I'm not a chemist, nor do I play one on tv.
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Postby Nidaros » Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:16 am

I agree with you.

I AM a chemist, and therefore biased to think that everything in the world is explained by chemical reactions, but I am now sure that evaporation is the major factor

I once saw a gas chromatogram of a whisky (or it was a bourbon, but I guess the idea is the same) and I noticed that only methanol comes out of the column before ethanol. This means (unless they did really weird stuff to the column) that ethanol is more volatile than almost all other aroma constituents.

Also the story of leaving the glass out clearly suggests that in a bottle, the rate of diffusion through the stopper is the rate determing step of the degradation. Therefore, a better stopper (perhaps a plastic one?) would help a lot.

If diffusion through the stopper is the determining the rate of degradation, then the important physical factors are the concentration, or rather the partial pressure, of the volatile compound, and the cross-sectional area of stopper that is in contact with the vapor, in effect the bottom of the stopper. Volume of the bottle is not in itself important. So 10 cl of whisky in a 10 cl bottle will be degraded by evaporation at exactly the same rate as 10 cl in a 70 cl bottle, given that the stopper is identical.

Another way to keep evaporation down would be to stick it in the freezer, as this will reduce the partial pressure of ethanol and aroma constituents...

Oxidation on the other hand, would be accelerated by light, as oxygen radicals could be produced.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:26 pm

Don't forget the simple fact that a low bottle has been opened many times, with perhaps a bit of fresh air getting in each time, replacing saturated air and increasing evaporation inside the bottle.
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Postby Nidaros » Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:29 pm

That's a very good point...

Some things in life cannot easily be described through equations....
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Postby TheLaddie » Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:43 pm

Just bought a bottle from my local emporium (I am in the envialble position of having a very good independant whisky specialist within walking distance of my house) and immediately opened it so the proprietor and I could do a little research...

Very nice. Doesn't attack the nose like some of the higher ABV, peatier Ardbegs: gentle iodine and peat. Subtle smoke on the palate which you expect to explode but doesn't. Wood shavings, chocolate and citrus (another customer walked in just as I shouted "Jaffa Cake!" I am getting used to funny looks so I wasn't too bothered) with a long creamy finish.

Definitely different to other recent Ardbeg bottlings. Always good to remind yourself there is more to the south coast trio than powerful peat and cough medicine.

Got myself a second bottle to keep aside just in case it is more limited than expected.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:06 pm

This Islay single malt is not available in my market but I did receive a nice little booklet on 'the beast' from the Ardbeg Committee in yesterday's post. Nice of them I must say.
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Postby peergynt323 » Thu Nov 09, 2006 12:05 am

You guys mentioned Laphroaig 30, HP25, and Uigeadail, but no mention of Talisker 25? I have to recommend that one.

Supposedly Beist will show up in the bay area in a matter of weeks. It's on my wishlist.
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Got it

Postby peergynt323 » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:31 am

Love it. I'd rank it equal to Uigeadail. Wish I had some legendary Ardbegs to compare it to.
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Re: Got it

Postby TheLaddie » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:11 am

peergynt323 wrote:Love it. I'd rank it equal to Uigeadail.


Oh it's good, but that's just silly... :wink:
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Postby Di Blasi » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:46 am

peergynt323 wrote:You guys mentioned Laphroaig 30, HP25, and Uigeadail, but no mention of Talisker 25? I have to recommend that one.

Supposedly Beist will show up in the bay area in a matter of weeks. It's on my wishlist.


Hei peergynt323, welcome!!
Talisker 25 was excellent when I tried it last year, wow, and I'm not a Talisker fan really. Their 175th Anniversary bottling is also very nice though.
About "The Beast," it is very nice, a softer style Ardbeg for sure. In fact, I was discussing with MrFjeld yesterday, and wondering myself why they're trying to scare us all, with "The Beast" theme, as I find the Uigeadail or Very Young more beast-like.
Lawrence, does that booklet, ("I did receive a nice little booklet on 'the beast' from the Ardbeg Committee in yesterday's post.") say much?? I'm not sure why they don't send me those nice booklets and cards, although I've registered twice, and received 2 member packs? Too much good drinking over there maybe!
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Postby Ganga » Sat Nov 18, 2006 7:52 am

Bought a bottle last weekend at Hi-Time in Orange County, CA. Really do like it but it seems to be more on the fruity side than a truly peaty monster.
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Postby Di Blasi » Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:59 am

"The Beast" is such a misleading name, as it really isn't. Expecting it to be leaves you almost disappointed. Not that it isn't good, it's truly an excellent Ardbeg, but not a beast in any sense at all. Even the distillery tasting notes mention "vanilla ice cream" which you surely find in the nose. It's soft in style compared to any of their bigger expressions like the standard Ten, Uigeadail, Very Young, etc.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:03 pm

just been reading back over the postings in this thread .....
Regarding the name , they carried on the tradition after the Kildalton and Uigeadail of calling it after something related to the area the distilleries situated in / associated with not because it's a beast of a whisky though it is a beast compared with the two similar aged previous Ardbeg releases , The 17 and 15yo's IMHO.
Regarding comparing it to other Ardbegs , i can't do it directly to a single one , it's nothing like the Uigeadail (though in my opinion it is vastly superior and a hell of a lot more balanced than the Oogie). It has elements of a few previous bottlings in it , the 77, the Ten and the ASY . Jackie was very surprised i'd picked up on the 77 link as the chief taster at Glenmo had also mentioned this to her ( so at least i know some of my tasting methods are right :o ) .
The ANB is a stunning Ardbeg release , as i said to Harry last night after the 3rd measure it's too damn drinkable and he said "Dangerously ...." , this (so far ) is my bottling of the year , i just hope that the distillery keep some 1990 back to release as an older bottling (20-25yo) as i think this will be up there with the 1972-75 stuff as Classic Ardbeg !

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Postby adogranonthepitch » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:17 pm

wise words gordo.

moving on, is the Ardbeg omc rum finish worth the pennies at c.£75 a bottle , and yes gordo, I would drink it!
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Postby hpulley » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:33 pm

I have no problems with the name as it is of the loch that is fed by Uigeadail but the marketing people have really gone to town with the beast part of it, taking the loch out of context. Ah well, the brochures _are_ fun... and the whisky is very good though it may offer some lunchbag letdown to those expecting something MORE peaty than Still Young.

Harry
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:40 pm

adogranonthepitch wrote:wise words gordo.

moving on, is the Ardbeg omc rum finish worth the pennies at c.£75 a bottle , and yes gordo, I would drink it!


I'm not answering that on the grounds i've already been in trouble with the Laings once over for questioning their pricing of Ardbegs ....... :wink: :lol:
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Postby adogranonthepitch » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:51 pm

gordo.... your silence is deafening :lol:
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Postby Di Blasi » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:53 pm

Yes Gordon, your Ardbeg statements and thoughts are always right on. The idea of keeping the name going related to the area is good, I like that, but maybe if they would've said it's a "gentle beast," softened by extreme Islay elements or something, it might be more fitting. I do agree it's a very nice Ardbeg bottling, but I haven't tasted it as much so therefore can't make a very clear judgement as you have. But you are surely the Ardbeg specialist around here, hats off!!!
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Postby adogranonthepitch » Sat Nov 18, 2006 1:57 pm

gordo, is the king of ardbeg :roll:

long live the king 8)

does that make him Elvis ? :shock:
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