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Ardbeg Lord of the Isles

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

9th May 2012


Ardbeg Lord of the Isles
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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So my wife and I had finally got to to Helvetica, the local whisky bar, after MONTHS of trying to.

Anything and everything that could come up, DID. Lack of money, lack of my wife and I having the same days off, getting the same days off, but they're closed, public holidays, sickness of me, sickness of my wife, and to top it all off, our friend who was supposed to join us needing an emergency appendicitis surgery the day before we went (Carlin this review is for you!)

After ALL of this my wife and I finally managed a date night which was going to turn into a whisky tasting night.

We'd started dinner out with Glenfarclas 12 yr old, then went to Helvetica and tried Yamazki 12 yr old, Hakushu 12 yr old, Glenmorangie Nectar D'or, and Amrut Fusion while waiting for my sister and brother in law.

Once they arrived we moved to Glenorangie Astar, Aberlour Abunadh, Old Potrero 18th Century Rye, and Ardbeg Corryvreckin.

That was supposed to end the night. However as I was taking care of the bill I saw lo and behold Ardbeg 1998 Renaissance and Ardbeg 25 Lord of the Isles.

My wife is an awesome wife and allowed me to go ahead and go over budget with the Renaissance and Lord of the Isles.

We finished the Renaissance and then I went up all weak kneed to order Lord of the Isles. I'm certain the entire time that they'll inform me that I'm sadly mistaken, that they're out of it or I'm not worthy of such as awesome whisky.

I go up to the bartender and place my order and I'm grinning the entire time and I comment to him "Do you realize what bottle this is here?! This is like a 800-1000 dollar bottle right here!!"

Brilliant! I don't care if it's $50 a shot, I can't wait to try this!!!

I get my glass and head to the table where we pass it around and all nose it reverently.

This is not your typical Ardbeg! I knew this going in, but I just got slapped in the face with the proof!

The nose a little bit of peat and smoke covered up by lots of fruits. Mainly apples, hints of pears, a little bit of citrus notes.


I can't wait to take a sip of this!!!

I take a sip and it is fruity, with the apples and pears, vanilla, hints of cherry, tobacco, sea air, peat and smoke wafting in the background. HOLY SWEET BABY JEBUS!!!!


The finish is Loooong, sweet, gentle, with hints of smoke in the background.

This is not your normal Islay whisky. This is a whole new ball game!

Everyone loved this whisky, it was the highlight of the night and this whisky is exemplified by this video right here www.youtube.com/watch. That's what drinking this whisky was like.

However at close to $1000 AUS and having to import it this awesomeness doesn't come cheap. I will be trying this one again, even at $50 bucks a pop!

All in all Family Whisky Fun Time was brilliant with the crowd favorites being Aberlour Abunadh, Hakushu 12 yr old, Old Potrero 18th Century Rye, and Ardbeg Renaissance and Lord of the Isles!

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systemdown commented

Totally jealous. Would you buy a bottle?

Personally, I think I'd rather pay for a piece of history like Port Ellen or peated 1970's Brora for that amount of cash! Having said that, of course I've not tried the Lord of the Isles (and likely never will).

12 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

I love the whisky and like I said I plan on a couple more drams of it if the chance permits. But I don't know that I could buy a bottle that costs almost 1k when there are sooo many other awesome whiskies out there. I have no idea when I'll be able to bring myself to open my Port Ellen, much less something that runs $400+ more then it. I think I'll stick with my samples for the time being.

That being said if anyone wants to buy me a bottle I wont say no! :D

12 years ago 0

systemdown commented

Good answer! =D

I don't know that I could spend $50 on a dram even. Had the chance to have some Port Ellen (PE-3 I think it might've been) but I passed that up when it was over $40 for a dram.

Having said that, for a $700 bottle (as an example) with 24 standard drinks (for argument's sake) that's $30 per dram x 1.6 = $46 so the pricing is probably about right on the Lord of the Isles, presuming they could get it for about $700 wholesale.

(I pulled the 1.6 multiplier out of a hat and have no idea whether that's an appropriate markup for alcohol but it seems to be a multiplier seen in other retail sectors).

12 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Hahaha my friend I dont blame you. I think the reason I don't mind spending that on the occasional shot is that first I tend to know / have a good idea how awesome that whisky is supposed to be. But more then that is my wife and I almost never go out, so when we do my wife doesn't usually mind if I go a little nuts on dram prices haha. Had another $50 in Melbourne several times, once was a 1950 SMW and another one was one of those insane high end Chivas. We gotta live a little you know?! :D:D:D:D:D

12 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

I like your attitude @ SquidgyAsh. You're dead a long time as they say. Maybe you should have made the bartender a lowball offer for the rest of the bottle. I doubt they are selling many drams to anyone other than malt freaks like you and me. Live long and prosper brother.

12 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

HAHAHA! Thanks!! I'm heading back there in a couple weeks for a series of tastings and the idea of making a lowball offer has been on my mind for weeks now. I do believe I shall try!

12 years ago 0