I don’t understand why Ardbeg's 17 Years Old so sweat just like Islay combined Speyside(ex. Macallan)?
Ardbeg's 17 Years Old is really different form Ardbeg's Ten Years Old and Ardbeg - Lord of the Isles(Ardbeg's Ten Years Old and Ardbeg - Lord of the Isles tasted like the same series)，Ardbeg's 17 Years seems another series or another distillery’s product, Why?
1. The 17yo comes from a time when the distillery's production was intermittent and the amount of stock was both limited in number and variable in style.
2. It also comes from a time when some of the malt was still being malted on the premises by hand, i.e. the maltmen would simply throw the peat on the fire, and so the amount of smoke released was very variable, hence some malt was heavily peated, and some malt was less peated.
3. The stocks available were not sufficient to make a mass-produced bottling that fitted precisely in the flavour-profile that the younger & older bottlings had, and so a very definite decision was made to make the 17yo distinctively different. (Although as explained above, this was almost done for them since the actual spirit in the casks had its own unique characteristics).
The peat is certainly more in the background with the 17yo, but the malt offers a lot in the way of flavour & balance. For some reason, the 17yo has its critics, but to me, it remains a stellar malt.
"Between 1979 and 1981, Ardbeg produced a very low peaty malt that specialists named "Kildalton Style" after a celtic cross located near the distillery."
Jim Murry's blible(P.29) has two Ardbeg 17yo, in the ealier version, Jim admits he is the creator of Ardbeg 17yo.
And in the present version, Jim thinks it's Macallan without sherry, should be given another name.
OK, no matter ealier version or present version, Ardbeg 17yo uses "Kildalton Style Ardbeg", and if "Kildalton Style Ardbeg" only was produced in 1979-1981, there should be some 20yo above in the present released Ardbeg 17yo, isn't it?
Today, the three Kildalton distilleries (Ardbeg, Laphroiag and Lagavulin) are lumped together because they are the peat heavyweights, and Kildalton style suggests a heavily peated malt.
So why would "Kildalton style" have been used to describe malt that was less peaty?
Something seems amiss
"special offer:The Return of the 17-year Old! ...It does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the malt, the natural sweetness of which subtly permeates and produces the perfect balance......We have some 17 Years old available... "
So there are some new bottled Ardbeg 17YO, but they arise the price to £50.00
They'll have found old 17 year old bottlings and, having noticed the price of Lagavulin 16 yr old these days, hiked the price.
I had a bottle of the 17 yr old a couple of years ago. I don't remember it being especially sweet but it was more rounded than the 10 yr old and was 40% vol compared to the 10 yr old's 46%. The chill-filtration will have obviously taken away some of the firepower.
The 10 yr old will have more appeal anyway to peat-monster lovers. Rounded is not something I look for when I want a peaty dram. It's like buying a Saab Turbo instead of a Vauxhall Astra.
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