Ardbeg For Discussion Committee Release 8 Year Old & Laphroaig 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky Bundle Buy (2x700ml)
Way back in 2004, Ardbeg launched the first of the “For Discussion” series. Labelled as 'Very Young', it gave Ardbeg enthusiasts the chance to sample a ‘work in progress’. This latest 'Committee-exclusive' bottling revisits that theme. It's the result of an experiment by Master Distiller, Dr Bill Lumsden and an attempt to answer his question "what if, in an alternative universe, Ardbeg Ten was not the distillery’s “flagship” aged expression?"
Lumsden adds, "An aged ex-Sherry whisky is new territory for us, so naturally, we want some thoughts. We’re sharing this with the Committee’s experienced palates to help us find that smoky sweet spot. It’s more than guaranteed to provoke discussion among those privileged enough to taste it.”
Historically, Committee release bottlings have not been offerred to retail. We've managed to secure a small quantity for Australian Ardbeg fans. 50.8% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
Other reviews... It's great that these bottles have more 'common sense' L codes these days. Colour: bright straw. Nose: delicately salty, this sense of things like smoked and pink sea salts. Bath bombs, sandalwood, briny pickling juices, kippers - feels notably more mature after the 5yo, perhaps deceptively so. But still, it's another very good one. With water: getting more aromatic and medicinal now with things like witchhazel, wintergreen and aniseed. Some touches of germoline and camphor as well. Mouth: hoho, lovely oily and textural peat, slathered on phenolics, engine grease, tar extracts, some punchy hospital vibes, gauze, iodine, black pepper and thick sooty notes. Totally superb and the texture is really what impresses most! With water: wonderful peat flavour, cough medicines, pepper and anchovy paste. A terrific tarriness that feels totally Ardbeggy. Finish: good length, peppery, tarry, slightly fishy and still with this wonderfully oily and phenolic vibe. Comments: I find this wee baby just absolutely superb, what I love most is that it feels not only technically good, but with this wonderfully texture it also feels like it has a soul to match. Benchmark young modern Ardbeg at its best. I will be buying a couple of bottles and you may take that as a firm seal of approval. 90 points - whiskyfun.com
Notes for Laphroaig 10YO
Laphroaig is a malt to either love or hate. Full of the smoke and iodine, seaweed character Islay has become famous for, it has spurred some commentators to describe it as 'mouthwash', 'hospital gauze' or at best, 'medicinal'. Suffice to say, this is not a whisky for the faint hearted. Take Laphroaig neat like a stalwart, or with a splash of soft water. Roll it around on your tongue, release the pungent earthy aroma of blue peat smoke, the sweet nuttiness of the barley, the delicate, heathery perfume of Islay's stream and either swallow or spit. The final judgment on Laphroaig must always be left to the individual.
Tasting note: Brassy gold. Seems a little tamer than previous incarnations, earthier too with a farmyard edge. Less iodine / elastoplast than before, more peppermint, baked citrus, kipper and lanolin, creaming up towards the finish, trailling off with hints of Fisherman’s Friend. 40% Alc./Vol. 92 points
Other reviews... So consistent is the Laphroaig 10, that this is one of the whiskies I test myself each day with to check that my nose and palate are on song. 95 points, Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2022