Ardbeg Twenty One (2016)
The Ardbeg Twenty One is undoubtedly one of the biggest releases of this year. For the first time since I don’t know when Ardbeg released a whisky with an age statement (except for their standard 10 year old of course). Not surprisingly, this sold out in an instant.
A 1994 vintage, the Ardbeg Twenty One matured in 200 liter bourbon casks (so barrels, most likely). A total of 8.268 bottles hit the market. The original retail price was 310 pounds, but if you want one now you’ll have to pay a lot more on the secondary market.
Ardbeg Twenty One (46%, OB, 2016)
Nose: Lovely fruity with an interesting note of lemon yoghurt, but also peaches. There’s some heather and it has a subtle waxy quality. Vanilla custard and cane sugar give it a sweeter side. The wood smoke is very soft.
Taste: More obvious smoke now, with a peppery arrival and an oily mouthfeel. Sweetness provided by vanilla and marzipan, and some mint tee.
Finish: Dry and smoky. Medium to long.
Look at my notes, then look at my rating. This is a whisky I wouldn’t mind having on my shelf. Wouldn’t mind at all. But now look at the original retail price (never mind the current market price). No thank you.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.