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A truly legendary Laphroaig from the 1974 vintage, this heavily-sherried 31 year old was a limited edition of around 900 bottles produced for a French retailer and scored a whopping 95 points from Serge Valentin on Whiskyfun before capping that with a Gold Medal and the Non Plus Ultra award for the highest scoring whisky out of all the entries at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2005. An acknowledged masterpiece.Tasting Notes (1)
Tasting notes by Whiskyfun (Serge Valentin)
Very sulphury attack, but in a very nice way, with also lots of rubber (bicycle inner tube) and some strong notes of dried oranges. A very compact mix of sherry and peat, it appears. It then gets also very farmy, on wet hay, wet dog and horse stable, and keeps developing on some bold notes of bitter almonds, orgeat syrup and mastic. The smoke is superb as well. Very compact indeed, but not narrow in any way – a beauty as expected.
Bold, punchy and creamy at first sip, very convincing. Some big notes of burnt herbs, smoked oysters and dried fruits (lots: bitter oranges, pears, bananas, quince, figs…) Some fresh tropical fruits as well, and again these big rubbery notes, with also quite some pepper. It really invades your mouth!
The finish is very long ‘of course’, very bitter (a ‘good’ bitterness) and always very rubbery… A stunning bottling, for sure, that rejoins the best Ardbegs in the pantheon of the greatest sherried peat ‘monsters’... it’s not cheap – to say the least - but alas, the best Ardbegs are quick to fetch the same kinds of prices at auctions anyways! A 95 points malt in my books.
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