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So my wife and I had finally got to go to the local whisky bar Helvetica after months of trying. We'd started the night with dinner and a Glenfarclas 12 yr old and when we moved to Helvetica we started with Yamazaki 12 and moved onto Hakushu 12 yr old, Glenmorangie Nectar D'or.
We joined up with my brother and sister in law for some Amrut Fusion, Glenmorangie Astar, Aberlour Abunadh batch 35, Old Potrero 18th Century Rye and were ending the night with Ardbeg Corryvreckin.
But then a problem occurred!
As I was paying the bill I happened to catch a glimpse of a whisky menu that had just been printed...and on it was Ardbeg 1998 Renaissance and Ardbeg 25 yr old Lord of the Isles.
I had specifically budget roughly $150 dollars for this evening. We had spent it. But here staring me in the face is Renaissance and Lord of the Isles!!!
I give my wife puppy dog eyes. My brother in law asks what's so awesome about these two whiskies and I inform him. At which point he gets puppy dog eyes. And then a deal is struck!
Renaissance for him, Lord of the Isles for me. If we run out, we'll buy more!
Out comes the Renaissance as we squirm in our seats, excited as a boy on his first date.
He hands the glass of Renaissance to me first and says because it's my recommendation and knowledge that I should get to try it first.
The smell is . . . lovely.
The nose is fruity but with the typical Ardbeg aromas of peat, smoke, seaweed and some phenols. The fruit reminds me of cherries, lemons, some honey there. But the cherry comes through strongest.
We pass the glass around, each nosing it. My wife and brother in law come up with chocolate, but I don't get it. Oh well maybe next time!
Again my brother in law hands the glass to me and says I should try the first sip.
Who can say no to an offer like that!?
The flavor is AWESOME and yet quite different from the nose. The peat and smoke comes through strongly, but the the lemons and honey, and phenols disappear to be replaced with apples and cherries.
Definitely not what I was expecting from an Ardbeg!
The finish was long with the cherries, apples and smoke carrying us all the way to the end.
This was an AWESOME whisky, which even my wife enjoyed, which was surprising because she doesn't care for any of the Islays.
I have never seen this bottle in Australia and from what I have seen on whisky sites over in the UK it is a hard one to find and odds are I'd expect to pay at least around $200+ AUS and to be honest I think it's worth that price.
Last on the tasting is The Granddaddy of them all!
One Whisky to Rule Them All.
Ardbeg 25 yr old Lord of the Isles.