Cadenheads 1991 21yo Ardbeg 44.7%

I’d heard rumours of an impending aged Ardbeg released by Cadenheads from my good friend Willie not long ago but thought i’ve got no chance of (a) been near a Cadenheads shop when it’s released (b) getting one as it’ll be pre-sold out and (c) too expensive ! So last weekend we headed up to Auld Reekie on a spur of the moment visit and on the Saturday lunchtime hit Cadenheads shop . So i was informed that both had sold out but i could try them , then Mark said the magic words “Willie told me to put one of each aside for you incase you were interested…….” Woo-Hoo ! Good old Willie ! So there are 2 casks both 1991 21yo’s , both from ex-bourbon Hoggies , both 132 bottle outturns , both £85 a bottle but one at 52.6% and one at 44.7% . It is the later i’ll be trying here…….

Cadenheads 21yo Ardbeg
A very pale colour for a 21yo , straw , straight away the nose tells you it’s from the South Shore  , quite medicinal , peat , farm yardy , kelp on the seashore and peat smoke . Doesn’t smell like an aged Beg (i.e. the 21yo committee bottling ) initially but eventually you do get it  . The palate does have more of a Beg taste (i seem to remember on tasting in the shop it was the other way around with the smell/taste) , peat , iodine , lemon , creamy fudge , pine nuts and a hint of coffee . The finish is long , chewy and peaty .

A very enjoyable Ardbeg , blind i wouldn’t have said 21yo , The Lads in Cadenheads seem to thing the reason there is a hell of a difference between this one and the other ( the other IS like the 21yo Committee bottling) is that this was is from a less peated batch , having tried it a few more times i tend to disagree , I think this is from a less tight and more used cask , my reason been that (a) the abv is greatly reduced and (b) in 1991 Allied was mainly filling casks of Ardbeg for blending in their Ballentines range hence they didn’t need to think of using top of the range casks . When i get around to opening it i’ll post notes of the other 21yo cask……