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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting that my wife went to recently was a big one, an important one, for the reason that it was also the 10 year anniversary since the SMWS was founded in Australia!
Now to commemorate this special occasion the Society grabbed their greedy little hands on a very special 10 yr old cask of Ardbeg. The bottles from this cask would only be sold in Australia for $255 dollars. And there would only be 150 bottles for sale. Six bottles would be left in the UK for the special tasting rooms, (so if you're over there make sure you try it!)
Now I was thrilled that the Society got their greedy little hands on these bottles as it allowed me to get my greedy little hands on a taste for me, if I was lucky.
Which I was when we went to the tasting. They'd brought a couple bottles for the members at the tasting to experience.
Now before we were given a chance to taste this once in a lifetime dram the cellarmaster brought out another treat.
Peated malted barley.
Another rare treat!!
We'd already tried some regular barley and now we had a comparison point for this sexy smokey beast!
Lovely and enjoyable, but nothing I could eat every day.
We're finally allowed to remove the glencairn covers from the final whisky of the night and out come beautiful, sexy, smoky aromas.
Sweet sweet smoke, almost burning florals at time. Interesting and lovely. Hints of vanilla and some sort of pastry makes this quite interesting. Over all of it is the creosote and smoke, but so beautifully sweet.
Time for a drink. I want a drink. My wife wants a drink. We ALL want to take a drink!
We're finally given permission to.
Charcoal. I'm drinking charcoal from a campfire!
Wow. Smokey and peaty and big and dry!
All the sweetness disappears and the smoke and peat and phenols all run rampant around my mouthy, drying it out and leaving smoke behind. It's almost like breathing smoke at times.
Smokers you're going to love this bad boy!
The finish is long, almost stupidly so, with malty sweetness appearing at the very end of all the smoke and peat.
Huge, huge whisky.
Not incredibly complex, but huge whisky.
And it once more reaffirms my love of the Ardbeg distillery.
It's by no means my favorite Ardbeg, but it's extremely beautiful and intense.
A whisky to drink while one contemplates one's existence on this earth.
Problem is unless you have a bottle or you have a friend who has a bottle, the odds of you ever getting a chance to try this is stupidly rare.
But if you ever get a chance to...