This was discontinued in 2004 after having been introduced in only 1998. It has since become a collector's item. Price quoted is the collectible value as of early 2009; it originally retailed around $70.
Nose is woody, with sawdust, some kind of tea, and very mild smoke. Palate is sorta sweet, sorta spicy, sorta plain, sorta tannic and woody, and sorta some background smoke. Finish is medium-long. To note, this came across my palate in a blind tasting (all I knew is I was tasting single malt whisky). Had I been anticipating an Ardbeg, I think I would have enjoyed this much more -- I'm not ashamed to admit that expectation can play a large role in one's enjoyment of whisky -- which is of course why blind tastings can be so important. Anyhow, upon discovering what this was, I suddenly understood why many people look back on this with the "It wasn't that good" attitude. My understanding is that bottlings got less peaty as time went on (in the short 6 years this existed), and this may be one such bottle. Whatever the case, what is in this bottle is decent, lightly peated whisky. B-
RETASTES (Late 2009 and 2010): A lot more enjoyable than the notes and rating (B-) above, particularly the 2002 bottling we currently have in the club reserves. B/B+ and I need to retaste again.
N: A flowery, clean, and almost smokeless peat. P: Buttery, very balanced peat and sweetness. F: Very long with the floweriness from the nose re-emerging at the 15 second mark. Nothing wrong here, but seems like a 17 year Ardbeg should better. B
Retaste June 2010: A bit of glue on the nose. A spicy woody peat the evolves into a big sweet fruitiness. Finishes with some gingery spice. Oily. This time around I dig the fruit aspect, which is something I'm more drawn to these days in peated whiskies. Upgrade to B+.
Nose on this was very sweet and fruity with apple brandy notes. Palate starts with a lot of sweetness with smoke that gradually builds on the palate. Like a smoky dessert wine. Very nice and original. If it was higher strength, it would be unstoppable (assuming it could maintain those flavor characteristics).