.ardbeg – 29yo – douglas laing – platinum selection

During Whisky Afloat 2014, there were those unavoidable moments amoung whisky-nerds whisky-aficionados the discussion turned to why old whiskies are supposedly better then new whiskies. Earlier in the day we have had a 1950’s Johnnie Walker Red Label (awesome!) and some other elderly blends and single malts from the Bring Your Own Bottle table. At some point later in the evening, our host Bennie went away on a mission though his cabinet and came back with a bottle of Douglas Laing’s Ardbeg 29 year old from their discontinued Platinum Selection. Smoothly mentioning my birthday coming up in a couple of days, 1973 being my birth-year and Ardbeg the start of my passion for whisky, he secretly filled a sample bottle and with the slight of hand of a seasoned magician, he handed it to me. On my birthday, I opened it.

51,4% abv, €500, single malt, non-chill filtered, natural colour, single cask, cask strength

picture nicked

Nose: a hint of smoke, new leather, sweet, spices, sage, mint, nettles, thistles, a hint of sulphur, pure cocoa, dried orange peel, lavender

Palate: sweet, honey, maple syrup, gentle (I hate to say that), spices, sage, creamy, waxy, slightly dry
Finish: smoky, a hint of ash, new leather, slight metallic, marmalade, long, but slightly dry
Mark: +++/++ 
Conclusion: Like many whiskies that have been in a bottle for some time, it took some time for the whisky to open up. She is definitely very mild and not comparable to a modern Ardbeg, but with some time into the glass, she gets to be really nice.

More info: distilled in 1973 and bottled into only 137 bottles in 2002.

Thanks Bennie, much appreciated.


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