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This Ardbeg 1991, from the Spirit of Scotland range by Gordon & Macphail, is 11 years old and bottled at an ABV of 55,8% on 12 November 2002. So it has spent almost as long in the bottled than it has matured in a cask.
The nose is extremely sweet and fruity (citrus) with almost no smoke whatsoever. But that doesn’t last long. Soon, soft butter and something meaty surface. Patience… ah… there come the more typical Ardbeg traits: tar, seawater and some diesel smoke. Quite herbaceous too, like wet grass. And wet dog! Even some rotting cardboard (no off-note!). Mould. Complex, you say? You betcha!
The butter returns immediately on the palate. Creamy animal. Very salty and bitter. A lot of citrus, white pepper and peat. Oh, my this is a whole smokescreen! But also very sweet with granulated sugar. This is wonderful. I don’t feel like adding water at all.
The long finish balances nicely between, sweet and salt and is simply marvellous.
This is top shelf Ardbeg, much better than the 9 Year Old in the same range (which was already good).