Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Distiller
ABV: 46%
Score: 91 points

The Ardbeg 21 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Photo ©2016, Mark Gillespie, CaskStrength Media.The oldest Ardbeg distillery release in many years comes from ex-Bourbon casks filled during the dark days in 1993 and 1994 when the distillery was only being operated a few weeks each year to produce whisky for blending use. The casks were matured primarily on the Scottish mainland, but were moved back to Islay for a while after The Glenmorangie Company (Ardbeg’s owner) bought them back from Chivas Brothers.

The nose is lightly peated and medicinal with touches of iodine and bandages, a slight brininess, and a touch of smoked salmon. The taste is peppery and tart with lemon pepper spice balanced by a nice peatiness and hints of briny wet sand, iodine, and a touch of lemon custard that develops as the spices start to fade. The finish is tart and spicy with that same lemon custard note along with peat smoke and hints of brine and smoked salmon. (September, 2016)