Review: Ardbeg 23 Year Old 1991 Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Master of Malt) / by Jason Hambrey

23 yrs Ex-Bourbon
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Ardbeg (Port Ellen, Scotland)

Master of Malt, the online whisky behemoth, takes their hand at blending and sourcing casks as well - generally doing a terrific job. Here is an old Ardbeg - a highly sought after commodity.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: Distilled Feb. 1991, bourbon cask.

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

It’s amazing the smoke that’s still so centrally here after 23 years. I love Ardbeg smoke. Quite maritime – salty, seashells, damp earth, rich caramel, custard, smoke, vanilla, dark soy sauce, some peat funk – what a nose! It has a bit of a salty element to it as well, quite medicinal, fresh almonds.

The palate is quite full, with roasted dried chickpeas, smoke, vanilla, oysters, earthy very dark chocolate, and some underlying sweetness. Quite savory, in fact, with quite a full body of earthiness and citrus supplementing the rest of the whisky. The palate hits you in different waves of flavor that all fit together.

A full dry finish with spice, smoke, medicinal character, tarry peat, dried apricot, and lemon zest. A brilliant whisky. It shows you why Ardbeg is a cult whisky.

Very Highly Recommended (18% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low. You don’t buy this for value…