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Ardbeg 1999 Galileo 12 Year Old


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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

23rd Sep 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Ardbeg is one of the most hyped distilleries of Scotland, but not completely unwarrented. They have launched many great whiskies so far. The anticipation for this new Ardbeg Galileo reached new heights, making the bottle sell like crazy and hard to find already. It is a 12 Year Old from 1999, finished on Marsala casks, the sweet wine from Sicily.

The nose is typically Ardbeg, with the peat, seeweads and tar, but that is completely rounded out with very fruity notes from melon, peach and pineapple. There is even a hint of chocolate. No peat in your face, but a warm welcome to Islay, with loads of sweet fruits.

The palate is the perfect continuation of the nose, in which the Marsala again makes sure it does not turn too peaty. The pineapple dries, reminding me of pineapple cubes. A bit of citrus. Oranges and lime. Softly spiced with a slight bitterness as if from cloves. Very accessible.

The finish is medium long and remains fruity, therefor excluding any resemblance with the regular Ardbeg 10 Year Old.

This is a fine and modern Ardbeg, which threatens to disappoint the truly die-hard peatfreaks because of the sweetness. But to me, it is more than a nice addition to the Ardbeg range.

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Victor commented

I don't see sweetness getting in the way of any peat lovers' enjoyment with Ardbeg Galileo. Those "die-hard peatfreaks" love Laphroaig Quarter Cask, and I don't find Ardbeg Galileo to be any sweeter than that.

It is always wonderful to find a high-peat whisky that succeeds well with wine flavours worked into the mix. And these Marsala flavours in Ardbeg Galileo are not an afterthought or a subtle accent, but are prominently displayed on the cover of the publication.

10 years ago 0

Onlyhalfmad commented

Nice review, just a small point but it is not finished but a mixture of two types of cask.

10 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

@Onlyhalfmad - thanks for pointing that out! Indeed, it seems that it is not a finish, but a marriage. My bad.

10 years ago 0

BlissInABarrel commented

interesting! hmm...i'll have to revisit this one again. i felt that the smoke emerged towards the end of the finish line, which reminded me of javier bardem in "No Country for Old Men"--kinda innocuous at first, but he comes out of nowhere and kicks u in the booter. though, i'll have to agree that there is that sweet, dark fruit note as the main core. i like your review! :D

10 years ago 0

sengjc commented

I enjoy the balancing quality the sweetness brings to the usually peaty Ardbeg spirit. Agreed that neither the peat nor sweetness leads but both mutually supporting each other.

9 years ago 0

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