Here it is, the legendary and mysterious Ardbeggeddon. Man, was I excited to taste this. And you know what? It's indeed mysterious in ways I didn't expect.
The nose is just a dank, earthy, peaty smoke. Kind of antiseptic and great -- and that completely attacks the palate and expands in a shockingly excellent way. Big medicinal stuff that's sort of minty and herbal, surprising and altogether bizarre yet wonderful.
The only thing that keeps me from going full "A" on this is that it's very dry, a tinge of sweetness would be welcome.
Though the PLOWED veterans joke that this may or may not be the actual cask they selected (mixups with matching casks to samples are not unheard of in such endeavors), it's regardless a choice completely fit for a group of obsessive malt aficionados. Different and, as I said, altogether bizarre yet wonderful, and Ardbeg. A-/A
I tried this once before, long ago in a not-so-taking-notes-friendly environment. My recollection was that it was good but not great.
This tasting had a great deal of build-up for this botle so I was anxious to re-try it. The nose was extremely well balanced with all of the earthy peat that 1970's Ardbegs have. Any peaty harshness was cleaned out by the nearly 30 years in wood. However, to me....and I stress "to me" ... the taste was underwhelming. It was much more subtle than the nose was indicating. Again,very well balanced and very good. It just didn't get to the stellar level that hype tends to portray. I like a bolder/bigger malt. This seemed - dare I say it - thin......
Don't get me wrong here....It is a very solid and excellent malt. I would not ever turn this down and if this was readily available, I would certainly want to own it. The rarity alone makes this a fine whisky. It just doesn;t quite make it into the A category for me.
The only thing dissapointing about this Ardbeg was that I couldn't get better notes for it. I guess it left me breathless and at a loss for anything. It was certainly my favorite PLOWED bottle of the evening.
The nose is "like a dance of campfire smoke and fruit".
Peat and smoke to the most rich degree. For some reason I really wanted to write down salt water, so I did. This was counterbalanced with some sugar on the nose, so it was really delightful. What really gets you on this one is that when you switch to the tongue, all of these other things come out. Some mashup of delicate fruity wood combines for a very interesting and complex taste. The finish, just like the other PLOWED bottlings, is excellent. [4/19/13]