N: Sweet peat, soft seaside aromas, soft. It's Ardbeg 10yo
T: Good nose to palate, with nice oily mouthfeel. Clean malt notes and hint of blue flowers - violets ?
F / C: Soft warming and balanced.
N: Seaside. Sharper peat aromas than the 10yo. Mild oak on the nose.
T: Very sweet and malty with more peat but somehow less intense than the 10yo overall.
F / C: A great whisky, but I feel like I may be missing something.
N: A little disjointed. Ardbeg peat, but with a spirity dry thread.
T: Soft peat, with more oak than 10yo and '77 combined, fruity and a little bitter.
F / C: Not a favourite, but good whisky.
Kidalton 1981 (from peat pack):
N: Intriguing, rich sumptuous malt, with tinned peaches in syrup, and lemons and limes.
T: Perfect transference to palate. Tinned peaches in syrup is reflected in the mouthfeel, which is wonderful. Subtle oak adds complexity to the citrus, peach and malty flavours.
F / C: 1 mini. No peat and this is the best Ardbeg I've ever tasted. Flawless whisky and I want a full bottle. Great with and without water, but better without.
N: Intrusive sherry battles with big big peat.
T: Bitter sweet battle, with mouth curling sherry winning out.
F / C: Better with water, but after getting through 1.5 bottles I've decided I just do not like this whisky very much. The worst of Ardbeg for me.
N: Subtle complex Ardbeg peat with malt.
T: Complex balanced and moreish. Subtly peat which builds with time.
F / C: Whereas Oogie has got worse for me over time this has improved. I rate this whisky highly. Seems to be a a love it or leave dram.
My rankings in order:
1. Kidalton (1981)
I first tasted it at The Munich Whisky Festival in Feb. 2005 and was astonished. It paled every other dram I tasted at the festival into insignificance. Yes, it really is that good.
More recently I opened one of the Ardbeg Peat Boxes and basically did a head-to-head against the 4 bottles (minis).
This Kildalton is a 1981 as opposed to the original 1980 but was every bit as good.
At the 2006 Munich Festival I asked Ardbeg why the minis were 1981 when the Kildalton was originally issued as "One single distillation from 1980".
Their answer was that the distillation basically spanned the two years.
Not sure about that one, but I heard elsewhere that they held quite a bit back for staff sales but didn't sell it all, hence the filling of minis for The Peat Pack.
This "Peat Pack" is the easiest way to try the Kildalton, it's a pack of 4 minis (10, 17, Uigedail & Kildalton) and there are lots around.
I agree that the 70cl Kildalton is quite hard to find, but there are some around.
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopi ... =kildalton
Paul A Jellis wrote:Cheers Bamber, I was wondering what the Kildalton was like. I would have tried some myself, but, as you know they did not bring any to Whisky Live and I cannot find anybody selling the stuff - not even Ardbeg themselves.
I had a quick search last night on the web for a bottle but nothing turned up. hopefully they'll do a proper release of the 1981, although given what WH says, that probably will never happen.
Glad to see you both like it too. Who knows maybe they'll find some in a cupboard somewhere, then sell it on the web for £80 .... I can dream.
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