While celebrating our 10th Wedding Anniversary on Islay in 2004 at The Old Ardbeg School we spent a bit of time in the Old Kiln (nothing new there…..) , a new bottling was spotted on the shelf , a 1990 at 14yo for the Japanese Market which was also on sale in the distillery . At Cask Strength (55% abv) , if i remember rightly 1200 went to Japan and 600 to the distillery .
It is very light in colour for it’s 14 years , Pale Gold , it has a lovely sweet peatiness on the nose with a lingering smoke , It makes the hairs on the inside of your nose stand up ! There’s also the mandatory Ardbeg lemon , coffee and chocolate , delicious…… On the palate it’s a veritable peat and smoke fest , still with a sweetness (creamy fudge) and a slight bit of Cocoa and frothy coffee . It has a nice lingering finish which leaves a lovely sweet peatness on the way down and a sweet chewyness in the mouth .
What can you say about this , the same vintage that went into the Airigh Nam Beist a further 2 years down the line , a lovely Ardbeg that really doesn’t show it’s strength it just gives you a thoroughly enjoyable time . Another Beg that scores into the 90’s .