This is the third release of Ardbeg ‘Almost There’, distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2007. ‘Almost There’ was the third bottling of Ardbeg’s “Peaty Path to Maturity”, following ‘Very Young’ and ‘Still Young’. The bottle code is L7 058 21:40 ML.
The nose is quite briny to start with, just a bit phenolic, and rather earthy. Smoke is there too, not intense but unobtrusive and soft. Fruity flavours are very subdued as well: there is a hint of lemons and apples, followed by notes of vanilla. Quite malty too and overall very clean and fresh.
The palate is medium-bodied and peppery. The smoke flavours are more distinct and ashy, and they come together with lemons and more vanilla. Very well balanced overall.
The finish is long, spicy and salty. There are smoke and brine flavours, together with more notes of lemons.
This is a terrific Ardbeg, clean, fresh and very well balanced. There are less fruity flavours than with the regular 10-year old but in return it is saltier and earthier - a real diamond in the rough.