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Ardbeg 1999 Galileo 12 Year Old

Marsala Fruity, In the Best Way

0 3793

@VictorReview by @Victor

6th Sep 2012

0

  • Nose
    23
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    24
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    93

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Ardbeg Galileo, officially released approx. September 1, 2012, is a 12 yo Cask Strength whisky--understated from 50.6% ABV to 49% ABV, according to master distiller Bill Lumsden--finished in Marsala wine casks.

There is a lot of discussion as to whether these unique expressions are worthwhile additions to the distillery line, or are merely attempts to garner profits through hype and increased prices

Nose: very wine fruity, sweet, big vanilla, the usual briney, smokey, peaty, medicinal Ardbeg, with many shades of Marsala wine. Delicious

Taste: fifty shades of Marsala wine, all good. The Marsala finish is quite noticeable and very delicious. Strength of flavours is quite good, and only slightly reduced from that of some of the strongest Ardbegs. Nice malt, nice peat, nice smoke. Much to like

Finish: good lasting consistent finish

Balance: this one works. I wish Ardbeg would make this part of their standard line. I am a huge fan

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37 comments

@Wills
Wills commented

So everyone grabs his Galileo? You were sipping fast Victor, getting the first review. I am one of the anti-hype guys, won't pay for this bottle. But nice to hear that it really seems to be worth the heavy price tag. Nonetheless for me this would be one of the few whiskies I'd like to have as an investment rather than drinking it. Sad, I know...

7 years ago 0

@WhiskyBee
WhiskyBee commented

As @Willis said, @Victory, that was a quick one! I'm wondering if yours is the first online review anywhere.

I'm aware of Ardbeg Expression Overload, but I've yet to see a negative review of any Ardbeg. Perhaps a few that are less than raves -- the Blasda is B-level in the opinion of many, while the Supernova is knocked for being overpriced -- but a bad or even mediocre one? Haven't seen any so far.

I'd love to try all of them, but then my whisky budget would be exhausted on nothing but Ardbegs. For now, my 10yo and Uigeadail will have to do as I dream (rather than dram) about the rest. ;)

7 years ago 0

@Wills
Wills commented

"Willis" and "Victory" got me a laugh here :)

Ofc they are doing a great job but I think other distilleries aren't worse. For the same budget you might get more bottles of excellent whisky. I also like the Uigeadail very much but I actually don't like this run on other bottles like the Supernova or the Galileo. It's just my opinion and I stop my yadda yadda yadda here, won't get Victors enjoyment corrupted.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Wills, prices here are not extreme for Ardbeg Galileo, $73 total, but the bottles are allocated and relatively scarce. I am not one for hype, at all, but I AM one for Ardbeg. At twice that price I would have been reluctant to bite, mostly because they sell Uigeadail here for $ 60, when on sale.

@WhiskyBee, if you read my Ardbeg Uigeadail review, you know that I considered the initial quality of one of my early batch bottles (bottle #2) of it to be only so-so, which was a severe disappointment after having gotten bottles of batch L10 151, which is my all-time favourite regular release malt. Even that bottle #2 did oxidise well and become much better after a good bit of time.

7 years ago 0

@EvaRees
EvaRees commented

@Victor Surprised me with the prices you listed — I just saw the Galileo in CA for $95, and Uigeadail for $55 both standard non-sale prices. I passed on the Galileo, but did give it a taste. I did enjoy my sample, but I do think it's a touch too much at $90+.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@EvaRees, I need a very good reason to spend $ 95 plus tax for a bottle. At $ 103.55 ($95 plus our 9% tax) I probably would have passed also. Our local $ 64.19 non-sale Uigeadail price is not quite as good as your recent L.A. price, though currently Uigeadail is on sale here for $ 58.55 including the 9% sales tax.

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

Awesome review Victor! Makes me can't wait to try my bottle.

@Wills I was able to snag my bottle at $85 AUS which is about $45 lesser then Uigeadail and about $65 less then Corryvreckin. Mind you I am picking up my bottle when I'm in Scotland so I'm not paying for shipping :D

Victor please keep us updated with how you think the bottle is doing as it oxidizes!

7 years ago 0

Taco commented

Wow! I need to move to Virginia! I've been told we won't see it for 6 months here. My favorite Aedbeg is the L11 195 Ten YO followed by Corryvrecken and lastly Ugeadahl and the other Ten's, but they are all great. Look forward to getting it after reading your notes! Thanks for whetting my appetite.

7 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown commented

Impressive.. maybe it's not ridiculously over-hyped after all if @Victor gives it the nod. A part of me was hoping that it was too good to be true based on all the fanfare. Is there room in my life for another Ardbeg beyond the trusty Ten and the Uigedail? We shall see.

7 years ago 0

@Martberg
Martberg commented

Ordered my bottle... can't wait ! Thanks for the review Victor, I'm really excited ! Merci beaucoup ! :)

7 years ago 0

@joshk
joshk commented

@Victor @EvaRees Just arrived in NJ for $100 + tax. At that price I passed as well.

7 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown commented

@Marcooda Wow, I'll pass for that price.. can't get it locally up here in Brisbane, as far as I know. Why would I pay substantially more for this than the Uigeadail or the Corryvreckan?

7 years ago 0

@Wills
Wills commented

Because it is brand new and only available for a restricted time!!!

7 years ago 0

@systemdown
systemdown commented

@Wills Haha.. yeah, I'm sure that's what they want us to think. I'm sure I'll pick up a bottle cheaply one day when the punters realise it's not an investment bottle and start off-loading =)

7 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

I was able to get only one bottle of this and now I am in doubt. Open it or save it (and try to get a sample elsewhere)?

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

Holy CRAP! I spent about $80 AUS off the top of my head for a bottle. That's INSANE! At that price I'd probably start looking into something like an older Talisker or put it towards a Thomas H Handy or a George T Stagg.

7 years ago 0

@Marcooda
Marcooda commented

If anyone knows a cheaper seller local to Sydney or Melbourne, let me know.

7 years ago 0

@SquidgyAsh
SquidgyAsh commented

@Marcooda I doubt you'll be able to get it cheaper then that for the time being in Australia. I'd personally import it if you can find one on Abbey Whisky, Master of Malt, The Whisky Exchange, etc.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Thanks @Victor! Another excellent review (love the "Fifty shades of Marsala wine" comment) I can only hope and dream this gets to the LCBO though I'm sure if it does it will be at a $250-300 price point.

7 years ago 0

@Lars
Lars commented

@Victor, Another enjoyable review (the fifty shades comment made me cringe ;D ). I managed to purchase a bottle at the whisky exchange for £69.95 which translates to about 112.00 Cdn. Overpriced maybe but I know as talexander states IF I can get a bottle from the MLCC it will be double to triple the price I paid.

@markjedi1 my vote would be to open and enjoy this whisky.

Life is short and I plan on enjoying it as much as I can.

7 years ago 0

Jaimie commented

I would definitely agree with this review. The famous Ardbeg peat is kept in check with vanilla (lots), fruit, and mild wine notes. REALLY well balanced, not the face full of peat that hard-core Ardbeg fans are probably looking for, though there is still plenty. I love this dram and am glad I bought several bottles to put by! Highly recommended, I like it much better than Supernova, Alligator, or Ten. It is my current favorite in the cabinet.

6 years ago 0

@Chookster
Chookster commented

@marcooda - Dan Murphy's selling for $127.99 + Shipping online!

6 years ago 0

@Marcooda
Marcooda commented

@Chookster - you're a legend. Just placed an order. Thanks

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Can Ardbeg Galileo be forgiven for being wine forward, and typical-Ardbeg-supported, rather than typical-Ardbeg, supported-by-wine? For me, yes, because I am evaluating the whisky sui generis, and not making assumptions about what it should taste like based on the distillery from which it originated. 100 pts? No. Best Whisky in the World? Certainly not for me. Very good? yes, I do most definitely continue to think so,...albeit it is more wine-forward and a little out of the groove of other Ardbegs. This has its own niche for me, and it is a different niche from other Ardbeg whiskies. Typical Ardbeg? No, emphatically not. Forgiven for that sin? Yes, I do forgive it...and will continue to enjoy drinking it when its own peculiar niche flavours are what I crave. Are those cravings for Galileo similar to cravings for Ardbeg Uigeadail, Ardbeg Ten, Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist, Ardbeg Supernova 2010, or Ardbeg Corryvreckan? No. For me they are entirely different cravings. A trip into Galileo-Land is not a trip into traditional Ardbeg Nirvana. But, I most definitely have a mood and a temperament that makes Ardbeg Galileo Just-The-Right-Whisky-For-The-Moment. And that is why I continue to think very highly of Ardbeg Galileo.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I am sipping from my second bottle of Ardbeg Galileo, now open for three years and 60% full. Three years of air time is showing that the Marsala wine casks used were not free from sulphur. I can still enjoy this Galileo, but a whole lot less than I do when the bottles have been open for less than, say, 18 months. This bottle of Galileo is not as sulphured as was what I have tasted of long-opened Ardbog, but it does strongly detract from the enjoyment for someone such as I who is very sensitive to sulphur. I would rate this now at about 83 points compared to the 93 points at which I valued it when I could not taste the sulphur.

2 years ago 0

Kent commented

@Victor do you ever try to prevent oxidation as bottles get low or do you just see what happens with them?

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Kent, yes, as mentioned in some of those linked discussions I routinely decant into a smaller container with a very small air space any whisky which I consider sensitive and vulnerable, e.g. low abv whiskies with a delicate balance of flavours. I use gas on many which seem to me less vulnerable. Very high ABV and very high phenol-containing and/or brine-containing whiskies I usually neither gas nor decant. This has been a new experience for me recently to encounter Ardbeg Ardbog and Ardbeg Galileo both showing strong sulphur presence. Usually heavy peat mollifies the influence of sulphur to me, and up to now I haven't worried much about sulphur presence in the peated whiskies. I will be more attentive, and probably more wary of buying the wine-cask peaty malts.

2 years ago 0

Kent commented

@Victor Thanks for the response. I previously noted that you drink from a large cabinet and assumed that you might decant. That is why I was curious about the 3 year old partial of Galileo. I understand now from your explanation. I have started buying a variety of better whiskies over the past couple years but have not tried many of them since I only drink about a pint per month. I recently got some Boston round bottles to use for decanting and sharing as soon as I determine the best way to clean them before use. I'm looking forward to enjoying more variety soon.

2 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Kent A tiny drop of dish soap followed by copious rinsing, more rinsing, and thorough drying is my recommendation.

I find it's always good to have a few extra at the ready.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Kent, I use Boston bottles myself in various sizes. Cleaning is an interesting question. I soak my bottles in very hot water for two hours. I am less concerned about sepsis than I am about the taste of soap residue.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

Kent commented

Thanks to all for the decanting info. Decided to sterilize the bottles for 10 min in boiling water like with baby bottles. Probably overkill but not too difficult.

2 years ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Kent , I'm repeating myself from other "what little bottles do you use?" discussions, but despite the widespread popularity of the Boston rounds, I really like those "woozy" bottles. They look just like little whisky bottles—perfect!

amazon.com/Clear-Glass-Woozy-Bottles-12/…

If you ever expect to trade samples with other whisky fans though (rather than just trade with yourself across the gulf of time), then the Bostons are better because they're so common, which makes it easy to trade equal amounts.

2 years ago 0

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