Ardbeg 1975, Bottled 1998. 70cl. 43% vol. 1970 vintage Ardbeg’s are becoming increasingly more and more difficult to find, this bottle is from the first release of the 1975 which was released annually from 1998 until 2001. Front label showing some signs of age. Level in the base of the neck. No box.
Nose: Sweet and floral. Not only is there some heather in there but also a hint of lavender. The smoke is gentle and unassuming, more happy to interplay with the oak to create these delicate floral tones. The great age can be detected by the faintest waft of pine but the malt hangs together with effortless poise. A nose as beguiling as it is complex. Taste: The peatiness makes a quite staggering entry. On the nose it has been slightly shy and retiring. As it hits the palate you see an altogether different character: Immediately huge and mouth-filling, it seems to take a special fancy to the roof of the mouth where an almost sensual oiliness allows it to cling for ages. Attached to this peatiness is a quite delicious and teasingly slow build up of cocoa as the oak again superbly interacts with the phenols. Finish: This is what you pray for from an Ardbeg: a long, almost never-ending finish with the peat refusing to leave the stage. There is also a lingering sweetness which lasts right through from the very first taste. The oak does add its usual vanilla character and the malt also makes its presence felt as a constant within the sweetness but everything is very low key and supremely.