It’s the annual Ardbeg Day celebration, where all fans of peaty bog monsters come out to get their hands on deliciously rare and unusual Islay treats from Ardbeg.
I’ve had a few of the Old Particular independent bottlings from Douglas Laing & Co. Their single cask bottlings are sourced from some of my favourite distilleries – Aberlour, Auchentoshan, Ben Nevis, Bowmore and Speyburn just to name a few. They are a third generation, family owned whisky business specialising in small batch, single cask… Continue reading Douglas Laing .. Aberlour 20
As night fell, the smoke and mist rose up in a late autumn haze and we ducked under the cover of our own darkened den, a safe haven underground called the Jefferson.
The beauty of this vertical tasting is to explore the Ardbeg Day whisky as part of the Ardbeg story.
Half the pleasure is in seeking the treasure. It’s not that this whisky is the best whisky ever made. But in nosing the glass and enjoying the spirit, we are participating in the golden age of whisky experimentation and re-definition.
Reminds me of an orange and almond cake I make. Caramelised vanilla sugar crust with the sharpness of citrus developing. Now I taste elements of Persian orange water. Slowly more baked apple emerges with cinnamon and nutmeg. Big, tobacco leaf and old leather starts to emerge out the back where the peat overtakes any leftover smoke. Now it’s starting to feel like a true Ardbeggian expression.
The bottle alone is something to gaze at. Be warned, it doesn’t pour that well and takes a practiced hand. You’ll get plenty of practice though, because for a young whisky it exudes character beyond its years. Not surprisingly, because this is a Talisker and I believe whisky is indelibly marked by the people who make it and the place comes into being from.
The Taketsuru Pure Malt (a non-age statement version). And here’s to drinking to a legend and a woman behind the bottle who loved and persevered. Happy Mother’s Day, Rita. Thanks for the malt.
When I first started drinking whisky, it was simpler. I wanted to try everything I could lay my hands on but that wasn’t a vast range. Most of it was major brands that were instantly recognisable. As with most things though, over time your understanding deepens and you start to see with better eyes. I began to labels that were nearly written in code, with colours, maps and distillery names I’d barely heard of.
And then, there are the unicorn bottles. Sometimes you know something is precious and within your grasp so you make a plan to have it. I am the determined type of girl that usually finds a way to achieve her goals.
I dip my hands in the salty, brittle ocean and smell the sea. With my eyes, I see what I imagined when I first tasted that remarkable Springbank malt. A hard place, touched by economic struggle but with a strong spirit. A place that makes beautiful things from what they have in their hand.