Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Whats the best Ardbeg?

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

Whats the best Ardbeg?

Postby Ian_Hamilton » Wed Apr 24, 2002 8:49 pm

Hi
I want to buy a bottle of Ardbeg but which one. Can anyone help me?
Ian_Hamilton
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Dumbarton

Postby Opi » Wed Apr 24, 2002 10:34 pm

Hi Ian,

I have had several Ardbegs in my tastings, and the best Original has been the vintage 1975, but it´s a collectors item now, sold out at the distillery. The vintage 1978 (and the Lord Of The Isles 25yo)has been too sweet imho.
The best young expression I tasted has been the Signatory 1991 bottling at 43% 8yo. It already had the power of Ardbeg in his young age. Taste it and you´ll know the potential of this malt. But you´ll need more than luck to find a bottle.

slainte Opi
Opi
New member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Dortmund, Germany

Postby hpulley » Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:08 pm

The standard TEN is all I've had but I find it to be an excellent whisky. I hope to try an older one some time but until then, I'm happy with my bottle of TEN!
hpulley
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2503
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Postby BruceCrichton » Fri Apr 26, 2002 4:34 pm

The 10 and 17 are the only ones that I've ever had.

The 10 is 46%vol and unchilfiltered and the 17 is 40%vol.

Both are excellent.
BruceCrichton
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Falkirk, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom

Postby bolena » Sat Apr 27, 2002 9:23 am

Among the destillery bottlings the Provenance 1974 is the best one but it's pricey (250£). If you can find the 1975 for a reaonable price, i've seen for 70£ (about the same as the 1977), it's good buy! The 1975 is very close to the Provenance in quality/taste.
If your budget is more limited go for the TEN. It gives you most value for your money.

If you want to try an independent bottler I would go for Douglas Laings Old Malt Cask.
I have one 1972 28 years (bottled Oct. 2000) and it's wunderful, in the same leage as the Provenance/1975.
Slainte Bolena
bolena
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Stockholm, SWEDEN

Postby Ian_Hamilton » Sat Apr 27, 2002 12:04 pm

Hi
Thanks for your replies.
I have seen a 1975 for £100.00 is that a good price and is it really a collectors item?
How many were bottled? Does anyone know?

Thanks
Ian
Ian_Hamilton
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Dumbarton

Postby Ileach » Sat Apr 27, 2002 4:19 pm

How many different original bottlings of the 1975 are there?

I have got a 1975/2000 bottling (I paid £40 for it), and I have seen a 1975/1999 at the whisky exchange for £75.

Which one is better? Is £75 reasonable for the 1975/1999?
Ileach
New member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Switzerland

Postby bolena » Sat Apr 27, 2002 10:22 pm

I have tried tree diffrent bottlings of the 1975. Bottlings made 1998, 1999 and 2000.
All tree was/is very good and the taste is very close. I tried the 1999 and 2000 bottlings head to head and the difference was very difficult to detect.

I would say that £75 for the 1975/1999 is a resonable price compared to other bottlings.
Slainte Bolena
bolena
New member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Stockholm, SWEDEN

Postby Hendriks » Sun Apr 28, 2002 7:30 pm

Try the Ardbeg Lord of the Isles. A 25 yrs old most wonderfull Ardbeg.

Dennis
Hendriks
New member
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Den Haag, Holland

Postby GordonH » Tue Apr 30, 2002 8:12 pm

Hi ,
Try the 78 , you can still get it at drinkfinder .co.uk for £70.The older OMC's are also excellent value and superb with it.
On the available indy front theMurray McDavid 8/9yo is good (about £30),as is the 11yo C.C. for £23 (good and peaty) ,there was also a brilliant 10yo caskstrength from Cadenhead (£40) but i think its all gone.
Also if you go to the Ardbeg site theres a great Committee bottling for sale at £100.
There is one thing i can say i've never had a bad Ardbeg yet!
Cheers
Gordon
GordonH
New member
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2001 2:01 am

Postby Yury Plyasov » Fri Jun 14, 2002 1:17 am

Hello Ian!
I am the big fan of Islay malts. I visited the all Islay distilleries twice. Ardbeg begins from Ardbeg 10y.o. I think that you will visit Ardbeg Distillery after your Ardbeg explorations.
Yury Plyasov
Yury Plyasov
New member
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Vladivostok, Far East of Russia

Postby St.Peat » Fri Jun 14, 2002 7:05 am

Surely no one has tasted a bad Ardbeg ... have you?
St.Peat
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Postby Timothy R. Cole » Sat Jun 15, 2002 5:18 pm

You can't go wrong with Ardbeg 17. This is a whiskey that you'll rate very high, but has a very resonable price. I promise you'll rate it right up there with others twice it's price. Enjoy!
Timothy R. Cole
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Hazleton,PA,USA

Postby Steve » Tue Jun 18, 2002 8:12 pm

I have tried many Ardbegs, and as Robbie Coltrane once nearly said, finding a bad Islay whisky is like finding a dog that speaks - Rare indeed. But to find a bad Ardbeg is like finding a dog that speaks Norwegian. Even rarer......

No I don't know what I'm talking about either......
Steve
New member
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 2:01 am

Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Jun 18, 2002 10:36 pm

Contrafibularities.

I bet you're anaspeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused us such pericobobulation.

I shall return interphrastically so please stay for a pendigestatory interludicule.
BruceCrichton
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Falkirk, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom

Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Jun 18, 2002 10:40 pm

The best Ardbeg is the one that you can afford and the one you can find.
BruceCrichton
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Falkirk, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom

Postby Ian_Hamilton » Sat Jun 29, 2002 9:29 pm

Thanks for all your replies and advice. I am now the proud owner of a 1975 (bottled in 99) Ardbeg, although at the moment it remains sealed. I paid 100 pounds for it.
Ian_Hamilton
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Dumbarton

Postby Steve » Sun Jun 30, 2002 5:00 pm

Sausage?
Steve
New member
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 2:01 am

Postby Nic Rhodes » Mon Jul 01, 2002 9:36 pm

My take on Ardbeg.

I rate this as one of my favourite of all whiskies but supplies are 'sporadic' at best and will get worse still. However a big multi national has now taken over Ardbeg. This is something I normally really fear however they have done a stunning job and the quality from Ardbeg has never been
better. There has never been a better time to buy Ardbeg.

10 year old. Two versions floating around on the market. Standard 10 year, 43 % is a nice drink. This is the old bottling (by the old owners). The new owners (Glenmorangie by the way) is non chill filtered and at 46% (I think from memory). It is an order of magnutude better, richer fuller, better in
every way. A great glass.

The 17 year old unfortunately is another old bottling. It is better than the old 10 year but not as good as the new Un chill filtered 10 year IMHO. Look for the 10 year marked Un chill filtered on the front of the box.

1975 bottlings were excellent but have largely gone now. Consistently good. I have now run out.

1977 is a lovely replacement. It is likely to be last of these 'vintage' dated Ardbegs because of low stock levels at the distillery. It is much more money than the 1975 was originally but again this is a non chill filtered example and is yummy. Stock up while you can.

25 year Lord opf the Isles is a smashing Ardbeg, again un chill filtered and seems good value in comparison to the Provenance. The best current release, again un chill filtered.

Provenance, brilliant malt, one of the best I have ever drunk but only for the wealthy! Bottled 4 years ago now at 55.8% in celebration of the new owners.

Independent bottlings of Ardbeg are rare but there is a very decent Gordon and Macphail 1990 (I think) which has it following (I have never had it). It is widely available in specialist shops. I like the old Laing bottlings but these are not common. The Ardbeg Committee also do some quality
bottlings.

If you like Ardbeg, remember that the distillery was shut for a significant
period of time, therefore stocks are low so stock up while you can.
Nic Rhodes
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cumbria, England

Postby Ize » Tue Jul 02, 2002 5:20 am

I tasted 10 Y.O.(46%) & 17 Y.O. (40%) Ardbegs last weekend ... and I'm afraid they did not made me to be enthusiastic Ardbeg fan. :-/ Maybe there is something wrong in my taste, heh. I do love other peaty and smoky Islay whiskies like Laphroaig and Lagavulin, but something was in offset in those Ardbegs. 10 Y.O. had white spirit smell and tasted very oily and something brought in my mind taste of sheep's wool. 17 Y.O. was better, there wasn't white spirit smell and sheep's wool taste was not evident although oily it was to me. I'll give 8 to 10 Y.O. and 8.25 (8+) to 17 Y.O. maybe the scores improve in the long run. (Lagavulin 16 Y.O. I have rated to perfect 10, Laphroaig 10 Y.O. to 9+ and Highland Park 12 Y.O. to 9-.)

Heh, hopefully I don't end up to your ignore list with these comments. Image I do have tasted Ardbeg 1978/2000 Gordon&MacPhail bottling and it was really good, salty, somewhat peaty and I could find vanilla and even coffee aromas from it. But I will not rank it because I've only drink one dram of it ...

Kippis,
Ize


[This message has been edited by Ize (edited 02 July 2002).]
Ize
Silver Member
 
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Up north, Finland

Postby howarths » Fri Jul 12, 2002 7:47 pm

Well, for me the best Ardbeg is the that's being drunk, although to be honest of all the malts I have tried (and that's a lot) Ardbeg is my least favourite.

However Ardbeg is far better than any bourbon I have ever had although my knowledge of bourbon is much less as is my drinking them, so maybe I've just had several bad ones!!!
howarths
New member
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Preston, Lancs, UK

Postby BruceCrichton » Sun Jul 14, 2002 10:08 pm

Sausage?

Aardvark more like!
BruceCrichton
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Falkirk, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom

Postby Nic Rhodes » Mon Jul 15, 2002 6:42 pm

Just a little update on Ardbeg, I compared the unfiltered 10 year old against the 1991 Murray McDavid bottling. These probably represent two extremes of the young Ardbeg style.

10 year unfiltered. Many Ardbeg lovers actually prefer this younger bottling just because of the more intense brine, iodine, and peat earthy character. It is quite yellow in colour and has very pungent Ardbeg character. It is a mouthful of flavours.

The Murray McDavid bottling, as ever is HIGH CLASS. Here we have a more mellow, less pungent Ardbeg, but it is still definitely Ardbeg. Flavours are richer, more complex but less extreme in nature. There is wonderfully creamy palate with a LONG finish. Personally I much prefer this style and as the local dealer has it for £23 it great value. I didn’t understand it on it’s own at first 9looked for a more pungent style) but I kept returning to it so I must have liked it. When I made the comparison it made much more sense to me and I liked it even more, better understanding the malt. This I have found with many of the M McD bottlings, which I rate VERY highly.

Both these Ardbegs are stunning examples of fine young Islay malt. I rate both highly but my passion is still for the old stuff! I just wish I had the budget and Ardbeg has the stocks for this passion, in the mean time I will settle for Laing OMC bottlings from the early 70s.
Nic Rhodes
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cumbria, England

Postby Dunglass » Fri Oct 11, 2002 8:10 pm

The best original-bottling for me was the 1975/2000 (the range had 4 diff. bottl. 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001).

In 1975 the maltings of Ardbeg delivered the original basics for the stills. The 1977 ist more like the 22yo. Port Ellen RMS. More coal and medicine. I think the reason is the undermixed industrial malt from Kircaldy this year.

The Signatory 8yo. of 1991 had a lot of power.

But the very, very best Ardbegs I tried were the 1972s of Douglas Laing. I'm not so good in description but thats God's own nectar. Iodine, peat, coast. Heavy, deeeep and with a high quality.

These bottlings were made for Germany and had roundabout 220 btls. per cask. The strenghts were 50.1%, 49.5% and 48.8%.

In Germany they are availiable in small stock. Ca. 150 Euros each. But it's worth!

Stefan

P.S. Complete Ardbeg-Bottling-List (Port Ellen too) with Shop where to buy is at www.whisky-files.com
Dunglass
New member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Berlin

Postby hpulley » Sun Oct 13, 2002 1:49 pm

I recently got a bottle of Ardbeg 17. Interestingly, it is 43% ABV, not 40% ABV as noted here and in the tasting notes that came with it. Is it because it was intended for Canada that it is higher or is there a new run of 17?

I compared it directly to a dram from near the end of my bottle of non-chill filtered TEN. The TEN is much more powerful, VERY smoky. The 17 is composed and sophisticated, still quite phenolic with lots of peat and iodine but very little smoke in the nose and just a bit in the palate compared to the TEN. The finish is quite nice. I will compare them again shortly before I come to an overall conclusion on which is better -- for now I'd say they are different, the TEN being a smoky peat monster, the 17 being a sophisticated peaty Islay. Both are very good and definitely favorites -- comparing the two in a pair of An Quiach glasses was heavenly.

Harry

[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 13 October 2002).]

[This message has been edited by hpulley (edited 13 October 2002).]
hpulley
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2503
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Postby Mr.77 » Thu Oct 24, 2002 7:52 pm

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ian_Hamilton:
[B]

The best Ardbeg i have in my collection is unquestionably the Millenium Edition from Signatory at about 9 years of Age, it has all the Poer you will espect of an Ardbeg.
The 10 Year Old Original Bottling is also very great stuff, i wouldn´t buy the 17 year old cause for the price you get two bottles of the 10 and the 10 is way more powerful. Last thing is a 10 year old Cask Strength Bottling from Speymalts, which i haven´t dared to open it it yet, ven if i have 2 bottles of it
Chris
Mr.77
New member
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Langwedel

Postby Oliver » Thu Oct 24, 2002 8:03 pm

As far as the Official Bottlings are concerned the 10 year old is by far and away the best.
Lord of the Isles, Provenance are very hyped up by tasters, its true. But keep in mind, in the interest of full disclosure, that at least one of them -- Mr. Murray -- was (and may still be) on Ardberg's payroll when he gave these drinks 9.5 and 9 and three quarters! Not that this means he was biased, of course not!
Oliver
Silver Member
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2002 1:01 am
Location: No Longer New Orleans, USA

Postby hpulley » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:57 am

Last night when I had both the 17 and the TEN again (after having Bruichladdich 10yo, Bowmore Darkest and Laphroaig 10yo) I preferred the Ardbeg 17 over all the rest. Up here it isn't really *that* much more than the TEN, which is already quite expensive. The TEN is $90 here while the 17 is $130.

Harry
hpulley
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2503
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Postby Rudolph Hucker » Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:19 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by howarths:
<B>Well, for me the best Ardbeg is the that's being drunk, although to be honest of all the malts I have tried (and that's a lot) Ardbeg is my least favourite.

However Ardbeg is far better than any bourbon I have ever had although my knowledge of bourbon is much less as is my drinking them, so maybe I've just had several bad ones!!!

</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You've never had Four Roses Single Barrel
then?

Cheers

Rudolph
Rudolph Hucker
Silver Member
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:01 am

Postby nthorpe » Fri Nov 01, 2002 10:18 pm

The other day I saw 1974 provenance and also a bottling I had not seen before, again it was a 1974, but with a predominently yellow label saying someting about spirit of......., I've forgot any info. please
nthorpe
New member
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2002 1:01 am
Location: banff, scotland

Postby Nic Rhodes » Sat Nov 16, 2002 7:21 pm

I have just tried the Douglas Laing 1973 Fine and Rare OMC Ardbeg. Certainly the best Ardbeg I have had and possibly the finest malt I have ever drunk.
Nic Rhodes
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Cumbria, England

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Nov 16, 2002 10:51 pm

How about the Ardbeg 21Y old Committee bottle? They specially bottled for members only. I think that this one amongst some other versions of Ardbeg is probably one of the best.....
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Laphroaig » Wed Nov 20, 2002 1:24 pm

The 10 and 17 are good presentations. I also like the Murray McDavid private bottling of Ardbeg out of a bourbon cask.
Laphroaig
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:01 am
Location: SF CA USA

Postby Laphroaig » Fri Nov 29, 2002 12:39 am

Ian,

If you have not already purchased, email me I believe I know a place or two that are priced reasonably cheaper than what you quoted for the 1975.

laphoraig@yahoo.com

(YES mispelled exactly like that above!)
Laphroaig
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:01 am
Location: SF CA USA

Postby mxmcat » Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:50 pm

in the official range I think that the Ten unchillfiltered is the best one (at a good price). The 17 makes me think about water perfumed with pepper ...It has nearly no taste.
mxmcat
New member
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 2:01 am
Location: Paris, France

Next

Return to Whisky Tastings

Whisky gift and present finder