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Ardbeg 17

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Related whiskies : Ardbeg 17 Years Old

Ardbeg 17

Postby birdman » Wed Dec 08, 2004 1:07 am

A friend of mine mentioned the other day that there will be no more bottles of Ardbeg 17 available (at least here in Canada)?

Any truth to that rumour?

(While I prefer the 10 yr. old over the 17, I quickly ran out and bought the last 2 bottles on my local shelf. - Can't be too careful!)
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Postby Admiral » Wed Dec 08, 2004 3:39 am

I haven't heard or read anything suggesting that the 17yo was going to be discontinued, but I can guess/surmise the following:

* The 17yo was vatted from limited stocks, and it also dates back to a period when the distillery was mostly closed. So it is possible that sufficient stock is no longer available.

* I noticed Jim Murray made a point of suggesting that the later batches of 17yo (which he wasn't involved with :wink: ) were going downhill, and it might be time to take it off the market. (Whisky Bible, 2004).

Hopefully Gordon/Spirit of Islay can provide some more knowledgable advice?

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:51 am

The main problem for the 17 is, of course, that 17 years ago (1987) Ardbeg was closed. Here in Norway the 17's been off the market for over a year (I stocked up before it disappeared).

It didn't resume production again until around 1990 when Allied bought the distillery, but they didn't run it long before closing it again. Andf then Iain Henderson started up production again. launching the Ardbeg TEN and then Glenmorangie came along buying it from Allied.

As for stock Ardbeg has a problem these days, a problem that's not going to be solved very quickly. That's why they've launched the Very Young, and probably will continue with such youngish whiskies until the maturing stock has come of age.
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Postby hpulley » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:54 am

There is still some A17 available at the distillery but in very limited quantity and once its gone, its gone. Ardbeg 17yo was bottled in 1998 and was distilled in 1981 -- there have been no additional distillations. You are right that Ardbeg has had a spotted history of distilling recently and there won't be another 17yo for some time, until at least 2007 if not later. The VYA is 6yo now so it will be another decade at least until new make is 17 years old. 1990s are rare but it seems there is a fair bit of 1991 distillate so perhaps 2008/9 will give us another 17yo Ardbeg.

It is not as smoky as the TEN year old standard but I love the 17yo so I got another bottle. It is kind of nice to taste the Ardbeg without all the smoke, just some peat, phenol, chocolate, Ardbeg sweetness and so on. Probably should have gotten another as well but there are now just two bottles left in the province so I'm probably out of luck!

Harry
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:09 am

Rumor has it that Allied toned the peating down on the Ardbeg 17 so that it wouldn't compete with their existing peatmonster, Laphroaig.

There also seems to be a few bottles left in Sweden, though the importer has turned the price up quite high - 799SEK (£61.50).
Mr Singh at The Whisky Exchange also has a few bottles it seems, priced at £65.

If you want a less peaty Ardbeg, try the Uigeadail. A bit more sweetness and less peaty than the 10, quite different.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:50 pm

The main reason that Ardbeg 17 was the weaker sibling to the others is because it is and was the only whisky in the line up that was chill filtered.

Source: Anthony Burnett, Glenmorangie PLC. (and it's on the bottle)
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Postby hpulley » Wed Dec 08, 2004 5:53 pm

It is chillfiltered and at a lower ABV than the rest of the current lineup but I don't think that's the real reason. Much of it is the lighter 'Kildalton' tyle malting, like that in the new 24yo Committee bottling. Chillfiltering can remove some flavoring, but not so much as to turn the standard TEN into the 17yo.

Harry
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Postby Tom » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:44 pm

Hi,
Harry i think your the biggest ardbeg connaisseur around, i've seen the OMC of 1991 for sale, i believe its 9Y old, and im not sure wether to buy it or not, do you have any info about it? or anyone else?
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Postby Frodo » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:56 pm

Actually, I was looking at that one as well. Problem is, I have a closet full of stuff I got on sale recently at the LCBO including 3x 17yr Ardbeg. But for C$89 for the OMC (50%abv) and with the reputation OMC has among posters on this site, I have to admit I was tempted. Between that and a 10yr Rosebank (OMC).

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Postby hpulley » Wed Dec 08, 2004 6:57 pm

I do enjoy Ardbeg but I am not much of an expert compared to most around here. The user going by SpiritOfIslay is a much bigger connoisseur which you'll see if you check his website, http://www.spiritofislay.net.

I haven't tried the '91 OMC. Amazingly, I don't even see it on the SOI website so perhaps he hasn't tried it either!

Harry
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Postby Admiral » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:04 pm

Probably also worth mentioning that the flavour profile of the original Ardbeg 17 bottlings was created and assembled by Jim Murray. I'm guessing that those vattings contained whiskies a fair bit older than 17yo as well. But in any event, it was a deliberate effort to vat and offer a flavour profile different to the 10yo, rather than concede, "This is all we've got, and this is what it tastes like".

Cheers,
Admiral
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ardbeg 17

Postby Swanny » Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:22 pm

I heard 4 years ago that the 17 would not last long. It was one of my favorites especially after the 10yro was released. I love the nose on the 17 and spent longer with this in my glass than any other malt. I knew of a C&C that had bottles for years but never sold them. They supplied small shops who went for prewier brands. When I moved to Brazil, I thought I should have bought one. When I returned for a visit I went back using my old pass number and stagged a bottle for what I thought was £30, only to get it cheaper £22 at the checkout. It is safely stored away for the correct occasion.
Ardbeg is very hard to get here, hopefully the new owners will do something about that.
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