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Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

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Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Yellowjacket » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:26 am

I read somewhere else on this forum about exploring smaller liquor stores to possibly find some good buys. For the past two weeks I’ve spent time on the far side of town where there are no large “mega” stores and visited about 15 smaller liquor stores. I did find some good deals (I went on sort of a buying binge :) – I went broke saving money :oops: ). I won’t go into everything, but I did find three with packagings that I’m not familiar with. If any of you who have been experiencing single malt whiskies longer than I could possibly provided some info about these, I would really appreciate it. I know these are not “rare” or anything, I'm mostly curious about timeframes, quality/tastings, and any interesting history.

Ardbeg 10 yo – Same packaging as today, but with a diagonal banner at the top of box that states “Introducing TEN YEARS OLD”

Talisker 10 yo – The box is dark blue with a stone-grain appearance - on the front appears a stone with the Isle of Skye carved on it. No age statement on the box. The bottle label has a picture of Skye in the center with “Aged Ten Years” in small print below this picture.

Talisker 10 yo – Another one, but this box has a map of Western Scotland on three panels with the Isle of Skye being centered on the front panel. The bottle label has a map of Skye on the left side with “10” being on the right side.

I would post a photo, but not sure how :oops: . Thanks for any help!!
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Muskrat Portage » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:44 am

Yellowjacket wrote:...Talisker 10 yo – Another one, but this box has a map of Western Scotland on three panels with the Isle of Skye being centered on the front panel. The bottle label has a map of Skye on the left side with “10” being on the right side...
Oh Waspish one:
This is identical to one I purchased here in Ontario in Feb 2002, so it's a design that's been around for a while.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:33 am

I think it was replaced by the blue box.

I wonder if the Ardbeg was an early release from the new management, which would date it to around 1998. See if you can spot any code numbers printed on the glass, probably on the back of the bottle below the label. (The Talisker likely has similar. If it's not on the glass, it might be on the back of the front label--you'll have to drink up to find out!) I don't know how to interpret these, but it's been discussed here before, and I'm sure someone does.
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Postby Jan » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:23 am

Yellowjacket; This thread answers your question regarding the talisker boxes:

http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4327

I found it in the faq, where there's more threads dealing with Talisker.

The Ardbeg is the first release of Ardbeg 10 by the new owners. I am not sure of the precise release time.

It has been discussed previously here: http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4642

I suspect this could be or become collectible.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:40 am

The "Introducing" Ardbeg is now a collectors item as is the older map style Talisker.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:05 pm

Lawrence wrote:The "Introducing" Ardbeg is now a collectors item as is the older map style Talisker.


I did eventually get my Talisker 10 with the map packaging and delighted to say it has been and gone and I relished every drop. However I must say it was no better or worse than one newer bottling I bought eventhough I did have a very dissappointing new bottle also. It still was great though which makes me believe that Talisker fluctuates through batch runs and that the old addage that older bottlings were better might not neccessarily hold true.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:24 pm

I think the complaints about the softening of Talisker long predate the change in packaging.
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:42 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:I think the complaints about the softening of Talisker long predate the change in packaging.



Well before my time so ... I am still only a greenhorn when it comes to Scotch Single Malts after all :mrgreen:
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Postby vitara7 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:39 pm

the ardbeg was the first that was brought out when glenmorangie bought the distillery.
one of them went on whiskyauction for about 90-100 euros if i mind right
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:51 pm

The Ardbeg TEN was "Introduced" sometime around April / May 2000 , about the same time as i started the Yahoo SOI group :wink: .
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Postby vitara7 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:24 pm

that a wee plug there per chance...
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:40 pm

vitara7 wrote:that a wee plug there per chance...


Eh no.....
But it tends to be how i keep track of such things ( i.e. looking in the message archive).
A simpler way to work it out is by when Ardbeg was producing .
Allied din't start producing again at Ardbeg after the Mothballing until November 1989 (very little production) , so with Glenmo buying Ardbeg early 1997 (production restarting June 1997) the earliest Glenmo could release a 10yo Ardbeg would be 2000 .
:wink:
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Postby vitara7 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:45 pm

;)
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Postby Yellowjacket » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:31 am

Thank you to everyone for your responses, they've been great and very helpful. Jan, the pictures shown in the threads you provided are exactly the bottles I attempted to describe. I looked under the "How to Date a Bottle" FAQ and found this from Arbeg311:

"For bottlers such as Glenmorangie, and other Broxburn area bottlers, at the bottom of the bottle the glass is feintly etched with a code, quite tricky to make out but legible in good daylight.

"I'll use an example to explain - my currently open Ardbeg TEN OB, bought earlier this year reads L5 284 21:29 4ML. This means it was bottled in the year 2005, on the 285th day of that year at 9.29pm that day. The final few digits I think are basically translated as 'Ardbeg'.

"So, L1=2001, L2=2002 and so on, followed by the next number being the day and then you have the time. This helps the bottler with quality control etc. "

I have a bottle of Uigeadail in which I clearly see etched on the bottom in a single line: L5 237 18:32 4ML. But on the Ardbeg TEN "Introducing" bottle there is a very faint etching near the bottom that I almost missed. Describing it: Left side has a double size "L". Right side has two rows of numbers, the top is "0 040" and the bottom is "1532". There is nothing like 4ML present. If I use the system Ardbeg311 described, the first 0 may indicate year 2000, the 040 would be the 40th day of the year (February 9), and the 1532 would indicate a time of 2.32 pm. I have no idea if I'm actually interpreting this code correctly or not.

As for the Taliskers, each has a code on the back of the labels (I did not have to open and drink the bottles, a flashlight did the trick :) ). For the "Map" Talisker the code was on the back of the front label and read: LLJL02198352. For the other one, the "Rock" Talisker, the code was on the back of the rear label and it read: L15R00709407. I've not found any information about how to interpret these codes. Anyone know any more?

Thanks again, everyone, and I'll keep searching.
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Postby peergynt323 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:47 am

I just picked up one of those bottles of Talisker 10yo with the map in the center. I have the bottle number and I'd appreciate it if someone could tell me when it was bottled.

bottle number: 00088854
(on back) IV47 8SR
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Postby Yellowjacket » Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:51 am

peergynt323:
I also have one of these bottles (clear bottle with gold cap?). On the front label, to the lower right side, is the number 00088854. On the rear label, to the upper right side is the number 00088853. Does your bottle also have this number? I'm thinking that these numbers might be label ID numbers, but I'm not sure. My bottle also has the IV47 8SR at the bottom of the rear label. Is this somehow a part of a postal code that goes with the "Carbost, Isle of Skye"?

I believe the bottling code is on the back of one of the labels. If you use a flashlight and look carefully through the bottle you can spot it. On my bottle it is on the back of the rear label. I've seen on many other bottlings that it appears on the back of the front label. My particular bottle has the code L15R00709407, but I have not been able to determine its meaning. I have gathered codes from several different Diageo bottles and plan to e-mail Diageo for assistance sometime in the future.

Anyone know anything more?
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Postby peergynt323 » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:34 am

It appears that we have the same bottling. All of the codes match. Where did you find you serial number?

I was thinking of selling it, but then I realized that the profit I could make wouldn't be worth the pleasure of drinking it.

Did I notice any differences? Well, I can't guarantee that it's different because of the excitement of drinking an older bottling. I got more fruit (apples, pears) and more smoke/peat. That's about it though. Classic Talisker pepper. I'm not sure if it's my imagination, but the added complexity of this one makes it worthwhile. Price: $53.
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Postby Yellowjacket » Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:48 pm

The serial number can be a little tricky to find. You have to actually look through the bottle to see it printed on the back side of one of the labels, seen through the inside of the bottle. I use a flashlight which helps illuminate the number a great deal. You often have to move the bottle around to different angles to get a good view. It may require a little bit of searching to find. Many other bottlings, such as Ardbeg and Macallan, have the code printed directly on the outside of the bottle.

I bought my Talisker bottle about a month ago. My plan is to eventually compare it to the current Talisker 10 year old, just as you are doing. I also have what I call a "Map" Talisker 10, which is a green bottle with gold cap, has the Isle of Skye map on the left side of the label, and comes in a box with a map of Scotland on it. This is an even older bottling (I think in the range 1999 - 2002) and is supposed to have a slightly greater hint of the traditional Talisker pepperiness. I plan to include this in my comparison. Right now I have way too many openned bottles and am trying to fully enjoy these first before openning any new bottles.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:48 am

IV47 8SR is indeed the postal code for Carbost, confirmed on http://www.streetmap.co.uk.

I know Diageo botlling codes have been discussed here before, and I'm sure someone will be able to decipher them for you.
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Postby lapianoman » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:02 pm

Yellowjacket wrote:As for the Taliskers, each has a code on the back of the labels (I did not have to open and drink the bottles, a flashlight did the trick :) ). For the "Map" Talisker the code was on the back of the front label and read: LLJL02198352. For the other one, the "Rock" Talisker, the code was on the back of the rear label and it read: L15R00709407. I've not found any information about how to interpret these codes. Anyone know any more?

Thanks again, everyone, and I'll keep searching.


Did you ever get any information on the "LLJ" code? Just so happens I checked one of my local stores & discovered 2 bottles of the "Map" Talisker 10, along with one "Rock" (which I already own.) I bought both "Maps" :D
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Postby Yellowjacket » Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:18 am

[/quote]

Did you ever get any information on the "LLJ" code? Just so happens I checked one of my local stores & discovered 2 bottles of the "Map" Talisker 10, along with one "Rock" (which I already own.) I bought both "Maps" :D[/quote]

lapianoman:
I recently wrote Diageo asking about their various codes. A representative responded very quickly and very nicely explained about the code on the newer bottles, but the individual was not knowledgeable about the older codes, such as the "LLJ" codes. For the newer codes I was informed:

'LxxxxCM000 xxxxxxxx (where "x" represents a number). The first digit
indicates the year the product was bottled and the next three indicate
the day (out of 365). The subsequent numbers indicate the plant and time it was bottled. For instance, your bottle of Talisker 18 yo with the lot code
L4322CM000 04750887 would have been bottled on the 322nd day (Nov. 17) of 2004.'

I e-mailed back about possible further avenues for additional information and am waiting at this time.

I really believe the "LLJy" code (where "y" is a letter) comes from the '90's, but I'm not positive. Does anyone know when the "Classic Malt" line came into being? I've found a Talisker 10 yo and a Glenkinchie 10 yo that both have LLJA codes. The packaging on both of these are slightly different from the other LLJ bottlings of Talisker and Glenkinchie. Neither of these boxes have the "Classic Malt" symbol (the one with the Quaich device in the center), actually printed on the box. Instead there is a sticker with this device placed on the box. Further, the symbol does not say "Classic Malts of Scotland" but, instead, "Classic Malts Lowland" for the Glenkinchie and "Classic Malts Isle of Skye" for the Talisker. Finally, neither box has a listing of the other Classic Malts on them. The Glenkinchie box is dark green instead of usual burnt orange and the back panel is blank. The Talisker box has the same map but the back panel has a brown stripe down the middle instead of listing the other Classic Malts.

Whew. Well, all this is to say that I believe these may be early or first bottlings of the Classic Malts which the "A" in the LLJA code might indicate. But what does the fourth letter represent? Is A the first year, B the second year, etc? I read somewhere that someone thought they might be half year codes. I really don't know. If someone knows when the "Classic Malt" concept started, we might know what year the "A" represents and then work from there. Any other thoughts?

That's the best I can provide at this time. I'll let you know if I find anything else. :D

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Postby peergynt323 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:05 am

Mine says L15T03942803

If we get enough samples, we can crack the code!
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Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:24 pm

"If we get enough samples, we can crack the code!"

Sod it, let's just crack the bottles and drink the samples!

T18 currently top of my shopping list...
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Postby Yellowjacket » Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:18 am

peergynt323 wrote:Mine says L15T03942803

If we get enough samples, we can crack the code!


peergynt323, your bottle is from around 2003 :D


Hey Reggaeblues, I'll crack a bottle of T 18 anytime! One of my big time favorites :D :D
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby lohssanami » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:44 am

Bump...I just picked up two of the map bottles.

Bottle code LLIA0000630

Anyone figure these out yet?
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Yellowjacket » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:31 am

It's been awhile since I looked into this. What I have is from the Malt Maniacs' (also Whiskyfun) Monitor, which is that group's ratings for more than 9,500 whiskies going back many, many years. In the Monitor is a Talisker 10 with a bottle code of LLIA which comes from about 1992. There is also a Cragganmore 12 (both Classic Malts) with a bottle code of LLIA that comes from about 1993. From this information, I would estimate your bottles come from the 1992-3 time frame. There are others to support this, but these two suffice. Good finds!!

Are there any other distinguishing features that you might see? Possibly provide any photos? Might be able to firm things up a little better with more info.

Please remember, this is my estimate, not to be used in a hard-and-fast manner.

Cheers - Bob
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby lohssanami » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:43 am

Bob,

Thanks for the info, and here is a picture of both bottles.

Image

It was a bit difficult finding the codes.
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Yellowjacket » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:23 am

Your bottles look to be in very good shape. Yeah, the codes can sometimes be a bear to find. I have a Talisker 10 with the box that seems to match yours, except it has a bottle code of LLJA instead of LLIA. Again, research implies the LLJA to be from about 1992. I believe the LL indicates the owner (United Distillers at the time) or the bottling plant, the J and I indicate different bottling lines, and the A represents the year or half year of the bottling (other bottles show these letter dates to run from A through R). If you read above in one of my earlier posts, you'll see I describe my bottle and box in some detail. Compare this to yours, most of the indicators are actually on the box. A key is that your picture shows a Classic Malt symbol in the upper left corner of the front of the boxes (just like mine). All other bottlings with later dates have this symbol actually printed on the box. It looks like yours, like mine, is actually a sticker applied to the box. I'm guessing these "A" bottles were from the first year (or earlier years) of the Classic Malt concept, and the stickers were applied on the early boxes before new boxes could be printed. I also have a Glenkinchie LLJA bottle with a Classic Malt sticker on the box. Just to check, do yours have a bar code or surgeon's warning?

Again, educated guesses on my part, but nothing to be absolutely positive about.

Cheers - Bob
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby lohssanami » Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:18 am

Here is a pic of the back label, and I have to laugh that I looked in the bottle for a while for the bottling code.

Image

The box has just a barcode (sticker) on the bottom, and the Classic Malts, Isle of Skye is, indeed, a sticker added to the box on the upper left.
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby mikeymad » Tue Mar 11, 2008 6:29 am

I must have missed this thread before. Cool info, but we need more pictures.....

Cheers,
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby lohssanami » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:10 am

Ok...I grabbed the pics from the other forum threads that talked about the different packaging. First the two different Ardbeg 10's that were talked about.

Ardbeg 10 Original Packaging.

Image

Ardbeg 10 Current Packaging.

Image

Now the Talisker that I have found, thanks to Yellowjacket, IWC and the other threads.

Early 90's Map bottle w/map box and Classic Malts sticker at upper left on box. Gold cap w/Green bottle.

Image

2nd version of Map bottle w/map box and Classic Malts on box at upper center. Gold cap w/Green bottle.

Image

Grey box with a style change. Gold cap w/clear bottle.

Image

Current packaging is blue box, blue cap w/clear bottle.

Image

At least here are the pics, and a short description. Yellowjacket has more knowledge on these bottles, but I just wanted to fulfill Mikeymad's request. :P
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:38 am

I liked the map bottle best.
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Yellowjacket » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:34 pm

I am attempting to post my first photo.

Image

The Talisker 10 bottled around 1992 is on the left and the Talisker 10 bottled around 1998 is on the right. Note the printed "Classic Malt" emblem at the top middle of box on right while the left (1992) box has a stick on "Classic Malt" emblem at the top left of box.

Cheers - Bob
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby Ryguy » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:40 pm

Nice pictures Yellowjacket & Lohssanami. I'd buy one if of those Taliskers, only because I like the packaging. :D
Last edited by Ryguy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ardbeg and Talisker Packagings

Postby les taylor » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:42 pm

Bob well done on posting your first photo. It feels like a sense of accomplishment dosen't it. Nice bottle as well. The old packagings were good weren't they.
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