Sunday 4 February 2018

Ardbeg 1993 Cadenhead's Sample Review

Hi everyone,

One last whisky from the Whiskybase Gathering in Rotterdam. This isn’t the last of the recent whiskyporn I managed to taste last year, but I am rapidly running out of it.
1993 is the year I was born, and one serious Ardbeg collector/fan said to me once that 1993 was the last great Ardbeg vintage. After that the character changed too much and became ‘modern’ Ardbeg. I would disagree with that but I’m not really qualified, not having tasted loads of 90’s Ardbegs. Although, we don’t see many 94’s or 95’s so the next Ardbeg vintage is really 96 by which time yes, the character might have changed.
Anyway, this is a Cadenhead’s sample bottled specially for ‘BRAM.’ What is BRAM? I have no idea but would love to hear any guesses. Mine would be: Belgians Reducing Ardbeg Malt.
EDIT: Of course, I have been reminded that I tasted this at the Whiskynerds stand and BRAM is Bram van Glabbeek.
Ardbeg 1993 Cadenhead's Specially Bottled for BRAM 52.4%
Colour: Gold
Body: Full
Nose: Cigarette ash on a grapefruit, lime, sooty smoke, salty, smoked fish, spearmint, peppermint, black liquorice, burnt tobacco. The bright citrus and mint work really well with the smoky notes.
Taste: Intense, smoky, salty, some smoked fish, very intensely mineral, wet slate and sea soaked rocks, beach bonfire, burning twigs and leaves, oily into the finish.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Suddenly very oily, fish oil, engine fumes and peaty malt.
23 years old from a Hogshead. Great old Ardbeg. Very oily and maritime. Not up there with that stunning 1991 from MoM or the recent 1972 I tasted but fantastic whisky all the same. Cadenhead’s do release these every now and then (normally one every two years), at amazing prices compared to what we see from everyone else.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #554
Whisky Network Review #649

Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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