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Serendipity - Ardbeg/Glen Moray

Your tastes and our tastes are discussed here, so make sure you share your pleasures with us.

Postby Aidan » Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:25 pm

I've given this another go today, and it's even better than the first time I tried it. In fact, it tastes much different than I remember.

I'll be buying more for sure.
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Postby kallaskander » Thu Jun 23, 2005 8:09 am

Hi there,

it is the common believe that the Serendipity consists of 80% of the omniouis 'very old Arbeg' and 20% Glen Moray 12 years of age. But what does it really taste like? All you Ardie experts, please speak out is there a trace of an old Ardbeg to be found in the Serendipity? Or did they just mix up their figures and it is the other way round, 80% Glen Moray and 20% of something with the name of Ardbeg? If a very old Ardbeg could be changed by 20% young Glen Moray into something tasting like this, then it was very fortunate, then it was real serendipity that it happened. Praise onto the unfortunate employee at Roxborrough who proved to have a lucky hand in mixing things up. I would be very ready to think that a 'very old Kildalton' was accidently mixed with a Glen Moray to produce the Serendipity. But honestly my learned friends whtat are we ready to believe?

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Admiral » Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:06 pm

Frankly, I wouldn't believe any of the blurb that the distillery's marketing or promotional arm is spewing out.

Despite claims of it being an accident, it would not surprise me at all if the whole thing was carefully planned and thought out, nor would it surprise me if the ratios of Ardbeg versus Glen Moray were completely different to the theories and guesses going around.

You know what annoys me about it though? Why can't Ardbeg announce precisely what the age or vintate of the Ardbeg in the Serendipity is? Why are they being so vague and just referring to it as "very old Ardbeg". If it's so old, then be brave and tell us!

As long as the distillery chooses to be vague and non-specific, and in the absence of more detailed or deliberate advice, I'm left with little alternative but to believe that there is probably a range of different-aged Ardbegs in the vatting, (i.e. perhaps some 17yo, some 21yo......who knows!).

C'mon Ardbeg......tell us what is going on, and stop being so coy and mysterious about it!

Cheers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:31 pm

What's all the fuss about?

Someone in the Glenmorangies group explained to me, in withering detail, how this cock-up occurred. I'd had a dram or two, plus I'm not hugely familiar with the tecnicalities of whisky vatting and bottling. However, I saw no reason why this Glenmorangie official should have gone to the trouble of weaving a complex web of deceipt just for the benefit of one drinker. So, I am content to believe that this was a mistake.

As to the 'mix', both Glenmorangie staff, Oddbins staff and the bottle label are all 'four square' that it was 80% Ardbeg and 20% Glen Moray. As previously posted on this site, a lady from Glenmorangie group told me that the Glen Moray was a 1992. As to the Ardbeg, I've been variously told that it was for Lord of the Isles or Ardbeg 17yo.

But does the fine detail really matter? It's clearly labelled as a 12yo vatted malt. And most Oddbins stores (and I accept there might be misguided exceptions) are marketing it as such. Buy it for that if you like. Leave it if not.
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:44 am

As to the Ardbeg, I've been variously told that it was for Lord of the Isles or Ardbeg 17yo.



Well, since Lord of the Isles was a 25yo, don't you think something is a bit amiss if it might also be 17yo????

But this is exactly my point.....why do we need to be kept guessing or speculating about it?

Cheers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:06 am

Perhaps, Admiral, the original mistake was augmented with some younger Ardbeg. Let's say the original accidental mix was 50/50 trés vieux Ardbeg, 25 and up, and Glen Moray. The result was perhaps not well balanced, and some experimentation was done to see if the mix was salvageable. The marketing department emphasizes the older Ardbeg in the original accidental vatting, but is purposely vague to avoid a drop-by-drop accounting. Just guessing on my part. The price charged would not seem to indicate a very high percentage of 25-and-up. Who cares? I've seen terms like "very old" and "very rare" bandied about too much to give them much credence, anyway; Glenmorangie plc are hardly the first to abuse such language. You like the stuff, or you don't; it's worth the price, or it isn't.

Given Ardbeg's history of closures, anything used over 12 years old is probably pretty old, anyway. There's no 17 anymore, or at least not enough of necessary characteristics to bottle a 17; in fact, I'm not too sure what they're bottling as the 10. The distillery was mothballed in 1981; Jackson mentions it running "sporadically" from the late '80's. There isn't any 10-year-old! I'll have to ask about all this when I visit in October.

As far as faking the original accident, why on earth would they? If it was done purposely with the intent to make a specific product, why wouldn't they simply take credit for their vatting genius? With all respect, Admiral, your conspiracy theory doesn't add up.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:47 am

Regarding the age of the Ardbeg in this vatting , seeing the distillery re-opened in November 1989 the Ardbeg can be only up to 15yo or plus 24yo seeing it ceased production in 1981 , if my maths is correct ! Why is there always conspiracu theories abound when a "Different" whisky comes out ? All i can say is if your that worried about it don't buy it !!! :lol: :wink:

I just regard it as a decent mellow sipping whisky thats still got my beloved Ardbeg in it when i don't fancy the full blown peat reek that is my normal drams.....
Last edited by Spirit of Islay on Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:48 am

Admiral wrote:Frankly, I wouldn't believe any of the blurb that the distillery's marketing or promotional arm is spewing out.

<SNIP>

As long as the distillery chooses to be vague and non-specific, and in the absence of more detailed or deliberate advice, I'm left with little alternative but to believe that there is probably a range of different-aged Ardbegs in the vatting, (i.e. perhaps some 17yo, some 21yo......who knows!).


If you choose not to believe them anyway, then what is the point for them to release the details. If they would, in your eyes it would be part of the conspiracy anyway.

Some people watch too many X-Files :P
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:25 pm

I fear Mr T & friends have drawn the wrong conclusion from my posts....

Whilst I admit my words do appear to be suggesting a conspiracy theory, the truth is quite the opposite. In actual fact, I'm more or less defending the distillery and the drop itself.

What I was having a go at was people's tendency to get too absorbed or caught up in the marketing.

Ardbeg put out a new expression, called it Serendipity, produced a quaint and admirable little gimmick to market it (i.e. temporary change of Committee Rules, and a begging for pardon) and that should have been it. I was perfectly happy with that, and wasn't too interested in actively participating in this thread when it started.

Instead, we have three or four pages of posts with people trying to second guess everything, over analyse it, and speculate, and then suddenly placing great faith in the marketing blurb.

Whether or not the vatting of Serendipity was planned or an accident is of no interest or concern to me. All I'm saying is, don't get too worked up about the marketing guff that comes with it. Just enjoy the dram! :D

(After all, we don't pay attention to the drivel on the packaging that reads, This whisky was lovingly handcrafted using traditional methods employed for centuries. The water comes from the purest, finest source, running over hills of peat & heather.........etc, etc. No one takes that stuff too seriously, so why are suddenly treating the Serendipity guff like gospel?)

Oh, and just for the record.....I never watched any of the X-Files! :D (Although I did see the movie!)
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:52 pm

Admiral wrote:Oh, and just for the record.....I never watched any of the X-Files! :D (Although I did see the movie!)


Aaahhh, you missed the better part then! ;)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jun 26, 2005 5:15 pm

Point taken, Admiral, and we agree entirely. Damned if I know how many bottles I have of "oldest rarest whisky".
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Postby richard » Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:32 pm

did i notice a ratio of 80% and 20% of either ardbeg or glenmoray this seems to remind me of the other cock up when glenmorangie mixed 21 year old stock with a three year old whisky and named it the 80/20 seems to be a common appearance

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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:40 pm

It'll always remain a mysery if someothing is marketing or soemthing genuinly happened. Naturally, some are more obvious then others =D

Its easy though, if soemthing is going to far to your liking, use the best voice you can cast at that time, dont buy the product, and maybe notify the distillery of doing so (you'd be suprised at times what that can cause in responce).

Ah well, we had a few nice marketing hickups in our little single malt whisky world the last few years ;)
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Postby kallaskander » Mon Jun 27, 2005 12:18 pm

Hi there,

well then - I sampled it only once, to be frank and even if I do know my Islays pretty well, it was a far cry from what I would have expected. The sample I had and I could repeat it if I asked my friend had no Islay charakter whatsoever. It was less peaty then any Glen Garioch or any Ledaig. So I really do not want to talk about or even feed a sinistre conspiracy theory with more rumours but where is Islay in that bottle? In another forum there was the speculation that the "very old Arbeg" was a - Kildalton! Now, that would explain a lot to me and my taste buds. But sorry friends, I am just not able to find Islay in the Serendipity at all. And please, what in the world could turn an old Ardbeg into something like this, if the true content in the bottle were 80% Ardbeg, 20% Glen Moray. I´d really like to sample the original Ardbeg Cask, if there is something left. As to "watering" the very old Ardbeg down to ge a maketable number of bottles with younger Ardbeg - honestly what kind of whisky must that have been? I mean considering the 6 years old very young? Or am I stupid?

I just don´t buy it, sorry.

Greetings
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