Ardbeg had released two previous vintages before this one , the 1975’s and the 1978’s , this was a total step in the other direction compared to them , it was released at 46% and unchillfiltered ! Limited to an unconfirmed 2400 bottles when it was released in 2001 it shocked a few people after the lightness of the previous 75’s and 78s !
Bright gold in colour , the first thing you get on the nose is the Ardbeg-dine but then the nasal hairs are whacked with a great big brick of peat ! Lingering behind is a sweetness , fudge , also peat smoke and a slight oakiness . The palate is huge ! Incredibly chewy , peat soaked with a chocolate topping ! The finish is huge , loads of peat and cocoa .
Should a 24yo dram be this peaty ? Who cares ! This is a wonderful Beg , huge and chewy in the mouth , When it was released i commented it’s amazing the difference a few extra % abv and unchillfiltered and uncoloured makes (very few malts at the time were this ) and i stick by it ! A few other producers should have taken note at the time…..