Ardbeg is certainly one of the cult distilleries in the new Millennium and today is hard to believe that in the 1990s the distillery was fighting for survival, and in 1997 was sold to Glenmorangie plc for mere £7 million.
Today Ardbeg in the third best-selling Islay whisky with annual global sales of 1.8 million bottles. Ardbeg single cask releases are always met with excitement and the one presented here is no exception. The whisky distilled on May 23, 2000 was aged in refill Oloroso sherry butt # 1565 in the dark corner of Warehouse No. 3 for long 21 years. It was bottled at natural strength of 51% abv as part of Private Reserve range on March 1, 2022 with an outrun of 555 bottles. (Bill Lumsden official tasting note.)
Nose: rich and wonderfully bold. Syrup toffee, smoked orange peel, muscovado sugar and Brazil nuts fill the nose. A splash of water reveals sherry notes of fruit, nuts, dates and figs.
Palate: lush and mouth-filling, with molasses, toffee and Brazil nuts with embedded ginger chocolate. Before saying goodbye, notes of paprika, leather and anise develop.
Finish: an intense, long-lasting finish that combines smoke with spices and dried fruits.