What a treat! Away in Chester for my [Jon’s] 5th wedding anniversary and while having lunch in the Old Harkers Arms discover they have an amazing whisky selection behind the bar! Time didn’t permit much tasting so I chose a beauty that I had wanted to try for a while – a 70’s Ardbeg. This particular one was a 1975 limited edition and bottled after 25 years at 43%.
Vanilla was the first thing to hit on the nose, followed by a gentle smokiness, touches of pepper and chocolate. It then developed into more citrussy notes and even brought in some strawberry. There was so much depth here; its not as intense as recent bottlings but had so many more layers with much to uncover. The palate was sublime. Beginning with chocolate, it became rather fierly before revealing orchard fruits and lots of plums. It was a decidedly earthy and then almost like an old fashioned sweetshop, aniseed and liquorice came through in abundance. The finish, cloying and sticky, lingered for most of the afternoon and revealed more boiled sweets.
Sharon isn’t usually into her whisky but remarked that it was like a ‘warm glow on a summers day‘ and if ‘more whiskies tasted like this she would drink them more often!‘ Praise indeed, but at about £450 a bottle it will be a while before this finds a place in the cabinet! It’s a truly great whisky, and has really increased the expectation of visiting Ardbeg later this month when we get to embark on an ‘old and new tasting’. I just hope this is included as that will make it very special indeed!