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Recently a friend of mine, his father-in-law and I had a tasting session. We actually went through 13 drams in one sitting. A long but very good night! The whiskies we went through in order were Bushmills Black Bush, Macphail's Collection Bunnahabhain 1990 (bottled in 2006), Bruichladdich 10 year old (bottled in 1979), Ardbeg Blasda, Port Ellen 25 year old (distilled 1980 bottled 2006), Bowmore 1956 (distilled in 1956, bottled in 1983), Glenfiddich 15 year old, Gordon and MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Ardbeg 13 year old (distilled in 1972), Ardbeg 10 year old, Ardbeg Lord of the Isles, Ardbeg Uigeadail, Gordon and MacPhail Caol Ila 16 year old (distilled in 1969) and the Ardbeg Supernova. Over the next few days I will be writing up my notes. I won't be re-reviewing those malts I've already reviewed, but there are plenty of new ones.
This particular bottle of Arbeg Lord of the Isles was purchased a few years ago, and finally opened for this tasting. This was the other bottle besides the Bowmore 1956 that I was really looking forward to getting into. Unfortunately this came straight after the Bowmore, and pretty much any whisky was going to be a let down after that extraordinary dram!
The nose is gentle and warm, with wafts of dried fruits (especially dried apricot) and honey over the top of peat, smoke and sea air. Really soft, smooth and heart warming.
The taste is light and refreshing, with a bright cinnamon note giving way to vanilla, toffee and some floral notes, before a light gentle wave of peat, smoke and sea salt rolls through. Unusually refreshing!
The finish is long, warm, but gentle and light! Full of peat, smoke, and toffee notes, with hints of dried fruits.
This was genuinely surprising, I was expecting an Islay monster, but got a refreshing summer malt. Consistent, gentle, complex, mature and very moreish.
This is a genuinely fantastic whisky. That said, it did follow the Bowmore 1956, so it was a let down. It's not often I would say that about a 9.5 rated malt...