Review 663: Ardbeg 30 Year

Time to taste the oldest Ardbeg yet, that found it’s way to my glass. This was part of a line-up for the 10th anniversary for drankenspeciaalzaak ‘Bij Thijs’ with very special old and rare whisky’s. Thank you Thijs for sharing this!!

Lets find out how it performs in my glass.

What they write about it:

They say history has a habit of repeating itself. Oh if that were only true of Ardbeg. If you are lucky enough to have encountered of these legendary bottles along life’s peaty path, then you have tasted one of life’s rarest delights.

Distillery:Ardbeg Distillery
Region:Islay
Location:Port Ellen
Owner:Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy
Founded:1815
Status:Active
Water Source:Loch Arinambeast & Loch Uigedale
Stills:1 wash still
1 spirit still
Capacity:1.100.000 litre per year

Expression:Ardbeg 30 Year
Category:Single malt
Bottled by:Ardbeg Distillery - Very Old series
Age:30 Year
ABV (% Alc):40%
Non-chill filtered:No
Natural colour:No
Phenols (smoke):+/- 50-55 ppm on barley
Distillation date:+/- 1960's
Bottle date:+/- 1990's
Vintage:N/a
Maturation:Not stated
Cask number:N/a
Bottle number:N/a
Bottle content:70cl

Colour:
Amber

Smell:
A fruity, rich, oily and well balacrend whisky with aromas of pear drops, subtle smoke, coumarin, honey, vanilla, dried flowers, hint of camphor,  beeswax, grass, subtle oak, cardboard, hint of chocolate, new leather, compost (humus), hay, smoked tea, some sweet tobacco, sweaty socks, earthy tones, hint of marmalade and more subtle oak.

Taste:
A soft, subtle, elegant and well balanced whisky with aromas of earthy tones (fresh potting soil), subtle smoke, hint of medicinal tones (iodine and tar), tannins, butter, leather, tobacco, grass, spices (cloven nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pepper) green tea, grass, milk chocolate rosemary, hint of mint, liquorice, subtle tone of kippers and creamy burned oak.

Finish:
A medium to long, well balanced, slightly drying finish with aromas of acacia honey, subtle sweet smoke, tannins, a subtle hint of metal, slight medicinal tone, spices and subtle oak.

Conclusion:
This is most certainly not the powerhouse whisky that Ardbeg is known for. No this is pure decedent elegance! The balance of the whisky is simply superb. It needs quite some time in the glass and handwarming to fully open up. I didn’t dare to add a few drops of water as I think it could destabilize the delicate balance of this whisky.
All in all a superb Ardbeg from yesteryear.

What are your thoughts on the liquid in this bottle?