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ARDBEG 19

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Wierdo started a discussion

For all the Ardbeg fans on here the good news is that Ardbeg have just released a 19 year old (why 19? If you're going to go that far why not give it another year and release a 20 year old? Big psychological difference to the purchaser in shelling out for a 20 year old over a 19).

It will be available worldwide and part of their core range.

The bad news is the price absolutely takes the p***. £170 for a 19 year old.

I'll give it a miss thanks.

scotchwhisky.com/magazine/latest-news/…

about one month ago

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Replies: page 1/2

@OdysseusUnbound

At that price in the UK, I’m sure it will sell for well over $300 here in Ontario. Hard no.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Wierdo if they know what they are doing, and they probably do, then there is a good reason for releasing a whisky as a 19 yo and not a 20 yo. That reason is that every whisky relies on its own unique batch of casks used. They probably believe that the whisky has peaked in its potential with that group of casks and would taste better bottled at 19 years than allowed to age to 20 years. Cask management requires a lot of excellent judgment on the part of the producers.

As for this 19 yo Ardbeg, it sounds to be outside the budget of most. I am very happy that I still have an unopened bottle of 18 yo Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist. .

about one month ago 5Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt

Or they have a certain time of the year that they want it on the market, and it won't be 20 by then.

Or they want it to sit "in the middle" of the regular stuff and the 20-something stuff.


In any case, there are many many many many whiskies that I'm not going to buy, and this is one of them.

about one month ago 4Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

Why 19yo? My guess is their ability to continue with this as an ongoing expression. Keep in mind that they started current production in 1997. So even if they had casks from that first run in June of 1997 it would be 22 years old. My understanding is that those early years (1997-2004) were plagued with low yield production and cask leakage. Further, I am sure that most of that early stock was used up to make their core line in the last 10 years. So, I highly doubt there is a lot of aging stock on hand at Ardbeg. That is what they say at the distillery. (but they still have a few casks from the 1970’s . . . ).

My guess is that the liquid in the 19yo will be a combination of 19, 20, and 21 year old juice going forward. I am excited to read that a portion of the liquid will be from ex-sherry casks. I am certain that Bill Lumsden has created his ideally balanced Ardbeg. And he is trying to ensure that he has stock to keep producing it for the future. Remember he and Jim Murray were in together on the old 17yo (which contained a portion of unpeated Ardbeg). Many people consider it an underwhelming expression. I certainly hope the 19yo is better than that.

They make no secret that the Twentysomethings - 21yo (2016), 23yo (2017), and 22yo (2018) - were from the 270 casks they bought back from Chivas Brothers.

@MadSingleMalt I think you have a good point. They want something to sit in-between the 10yo and the Twentysomethings. I expect to see future versions of the Twentysomethings with prices well beyond $500.

Remember the 21yo was priced at $500 in the US and the 23yo was priced at $550. So, I am excited to hear that the 19yo will be “only” 170 pounds (around $205). I am actually surprised that they don’t ask for $300 or $350. My guess is that will land between $215-$250 in the US. Is that high? Well, consider the following prices (in my area):

  • Bunnahabhain 18yo is $150
  • Talisker 18yo is $160 (and has been for a number of years)
  • Glendronach 18yo (Parliament) is $180
  • Springbank 18yo goes for $220 (when I see it on shelves)
  • Macallan 18yo is now $325

. . . I would say it is the market price for an aged expression of a premium distillery. This is just the way of demand for premium aged single malt. And Ardbeg is arguably in the top 10 premium collectable distilleries out there. So ya, it is going to be pricy.

Will I buy a bottle? Probably. I am an Ardbeg whore. It is my favorite distillery . . . even though I don’t want it to be. It just has such a deep-inexplicable hold. Ardbeg, I can’t quit you . . .

@Victor I am also happy you have an unopened bottle of the 1990 vintage Beist (2008). And I hope for a taste when you get around to cracking it. I have an unopened 23yo and 21yo. We should make it a tasting thing happen.

about one month ago 8Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

Thanks for the link @Wierdo - That is quite pricey, and won't be on my shopping list, but I have to say that I was expecting something nearer £300! Generous bastards, actually! (read that last line in a Glaswegian twang for full sarcastic effect smile )

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock Was there ever a better 18 year old than the late, lamented Beist?

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@BlueNote

Interesting point . . . very little teenage Ardbeg out there.

I actually have this theory that some distilleries like Ardbeg (including Brora, Bowmore, Caol Ila, and Port Ellen) really need to age well beyond 20 years to find their sweet spot.

Yes, Ardbeg at 6, 7 and 10 years is wonderful. Yes, Ardbeg at 25, 29 and 32 years is amazing. But they are totally different animals. And I think the Ardbeg in-between (12yo-21yo) is not quite either. Clearly after about 12 to 15 years the peat really recedes to the background. However, I don’t think you see the development of layers and complex notes for at least another 10 years of aging. All the old Ardbeg “glories” I have tired have all been 25 years or older.

I sincerely hope I am wrong. I hope it is just that all the “teenage” Ardbeg I tried was all from the 90’s (which it almost all was), and was an off time for Ardbeg distillate. I really hope the new 19yo has those elegant layers of flavor that make up for the dialed back peat punch. I hope Dr. Bill has some special casks set aside for this release.

We will see (or read about it) soon.

30 days ago 5Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@Nock I am always up for a "tasting thing". And I feel that I have recently fallen somewhat behind in tasting from your peaty treasure-trove.

It is rough for both of us if we are in tasting company not ready to try 15 or 20 peaties in a row.

30 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Victor I'm ready, willing and able!

30 days ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@Nock Ardbeg 19 might be comparably priced against similar quality whiskies in the US. But in the UK at that price it's considerably overpriced.

By approximate UK prices:

Talisker 18 - £75 Glendronach 18 - £80 Springbank 18 - £100 Bunnahabhain 18 - £100

Even the Old Pulteney 18 that replaced the 17 with a big price hike that p****d everyone off goes for around £115.

So the Ardbeg 19 at £170 a bottle is well hiked in price.

From what I've heard on here from my comrades across the Atlantic and the prices you pay I simply couldn't afford my hobby if I didn't live in the UK. Or at the very least I certainly wouldn't be buying anything like as much scotch as I do. You agree @RianC ?

30 days ago 3Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

Well, it looks my hopes were dashed. The 19yo Ardbeg will likely hit US shelves at right around $300. Oh well. There are still bottles of the 21yo floating around for $500. So does that make the 19yo a bargain? 2 more years for $200 more.

23 days ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@Nock it's sold out in the UK from what I've seen. The irritating thing is most of the bottles have probably been brought by people who don't even drink whisky.

22 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@Wierdo sad but true.

In my area the 19yo will go for $300

The 21yo is still on shelves for $500

And the 22yo from last year is just now arriving for $550

So which is the best deal?

If someone was going to buy "you" (anyone who cares to answer) just one for your Birthday . . . which would you ask for?

22 days ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock I would have said the 21, but for the extra $50 I’d go for the 22. Although the 19 is probably the best bang for the buck.

22 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Nock If someone else is buying and money is no object? I would say get the best of the three.

22 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nock
Nock replied

@BlueNote so you are saying ask for the 22yo?

@Nozinan answer the question. Your friend says, which one do you want for your birthday? You have no opportunity to taste them and no time to create a spreadsheet with various reviews from the web. Which are you going to ask for? Clearly it is a gut reaction based on rumors and intuition. What do you say?

Anyone else care to chime in? Opinions are welcome.

22 days ago 0

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 replied

@Nock Get a Corryvrekan instead, because you'll get more pleasure comparing it to the other batches in your possession.

If it's a gift then let the person giving the present decide. It would reveal how well he/she considers your preference in whisky. Also, their own budget limitations.

22 days ago 2Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Wierdo - I definitely wouldn't be able to afford as much as I do now (and I'm always seeking out deals as it's not a cheap 'hobby' whichever way you cut it) - the price of Talisker 18, for example, would be out of my current range.

That said, if I lived in the US I'd probably buy much more bourbon and rye, which, by UK prices are much cheaper than we pay over here - and you get more in a bottle!

I guess if I lived in the states I'd probably reverse the poles on what I buy in terms of Scotch and bourbon/rye - which is about 65% Scotch to 25% bourbon/rye currently. Now if I lived in Canada . . . what's French for tee-totaller? smile

21 days ago 4Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC replied

@Nock - A gift with no remorse? It would be the 22 I'd ask for. No question!

(wait a few years, sell it and buy two 19's stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes )

21 days ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo replied

@Nock I'd probably say the 19 and save my friend a bit of cash. I like Ardbeg and think their core range whiskies are good and probably a little pricey but not outrageously so. I don't buy into all the hype though and think their limited editions and older whiskies are very overpriced. I'm very averse to feeling I've been treated like a mug and I would extend that to not wanting my friends to be treated like a mug either

However, if they were a millionaire I'd say the 22!

21 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@RianC The bon mot for a teetotaler would be abstème.

21 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@OdysseusUnbound, Ha! I was just considering suggesting that you be consulted for the French word. Now is absteme one of those Quebecois "bleuet" or "bienvenu" French words?

@Nock, by intuition alone I suggest going with the 21 year old.

21 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound

@Victor Actually, I think abstème is a bit formal. I’m not sure if any Québécois would use it. I’m from Northern Ontario, and you’d never hear that word up in Sudbury. You’re more likely to hear “y boé pas” (ee bway pah) which is a slang rendition of “il ne boit pas (d’alcool...which is implied)”.

21 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan replied

@Wierdo my sentiments exactly.

21 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor replied

@OdysseusUnbound very interesting slang. It reminds me of a favourite of mine. "Zydeco", the name of a Louisiana Cajun style of music, derives from an old song, some of the lyrics of which are "Les haricots ne sont pas sales."

21 days ago 2Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Victor, I’ve done time in Louisiana. Check the phone book from NO, Baton Rouge, New Iberia, etc. then check the phone book from Sudbury, you will find many of the same French surnames.... from the settlers 350 years ago.

21 days ago 3Who liked this?

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge replied

@Nozinan, I’m an international, FBI was involved.

21 days ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote replied

@Nock Yeah, it may not turn out to be the best of the three, but you might as well go for the top end.

21 days ago 1Who liked this?

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@Nock@OdysseusUnbound

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