Ardbeg Twenty Something 23 Year

Peated Single Malt

Ardbeg // Islay, Scotland

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  1. LeeEvolved

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    So, I opened this bottle way back in April, prior to Whiskyfest DC, as part of our hotel room bottle share. I figured we needed some high quality whisky to pregame for the festival. I bought this bottle last winter when it was initially released and I paid $600 to get my hands on one. I bought a second bottle about 3 months later after the initial craze died down, but I still paid $500 for it. Was it worth it? Let’s see... This bottle is not a continuation of the series Ardbeg started in 2016 with the 21 Year Old (as rumored). This was different stock they found onsite. It’s a blend of traditional ex-bourbon aged and ex-sherry cask aged. The 21 year was old stock bought back from an independent bottler. This 23 is bottled at 46.3% and is new gold in color and creates tons of skinny, fast running legs in the Glencairn. The nose had some incredible sherry sweetness right out of the gate. The smoke melded perfectly and there was some nice oak cask notes, BBQ and bacon with some grape wine influence. It was very complex and faded mostly to smoke after some time. The palate was smoked meats, chocolate, vanilla and sherry grapes. The cask gets left behind here and replaced with some salty notes and tons of smoke. The mouthfeel is luxurious and velvety smooth- which is totally expected with something this old. There’s not much alcohol heat and the smoke again slides to the front if you take your time with the sip. The finish is long with moderate spices and finally some barrel influence. It’s smoky and sweet at the same time and each sip makes you want to take another. This bottle was hands down the best Ardbeg I’ve ever tried. It isn’t as complex as the CorryV or the Uiggi, but they don’t hold a candle to how perfectly smooth and luscious this is. It’s hard to say whether or not this bottle is worth $500-600, but you could do a lot worse for sure. This one is battling for the top spot on my all time favorite list, so it’s easily a 5-star dram. If you want to try something close to perfection- pony up for a pour or a bottle and find out for yourself. It’s a beautiful dram. Cheers.
    600.0 USD per Bottle
  2. Conifer

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  3. Generously_Paul

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Well I’m back! It’s been nearly 3 weeks since my last review. A combination of travel, family responsibilities, home maintenance and a rather annoying summer cold kept me from having the time and faculties to do a proper review. The cold is still lingering, but I’m clear enough to get a review in. The final round of the SDT has begun, but before I dive into those samples I wanted to review this beauty as it marks my 250th review. I wanted to mark this occasion with an Islay as they are my first love. This bottle was one of the premium bottles we had at our hotel room tasting in DC at Whiskyfest, provided by @LeeEvolved Ardbeg Twenty Something is a 23 year old that, from my understanding, is the recent 21 year old with an extra 2 years of finishing is sherry casks. It’s bottled at 46.3% ABV and is non chill filtered and natural color of honey gold. The nose is pure Ardbeg peat smoke up front. Quite smoky given its age really, I’m impressed that the phenols in the distillate held up this well over its long life. Bonfire ashes, creosote and smoked ham with a honey glaze. Once the smoke subsided a little there is vanilla cream and custard, cherries and cherry wood, almonds. Very light sherry notes after some time, not too strong given it’s two year finishing period. Light mint and lemon notes, black tea and a hint of red grapes. After a good 45 minutes in the glass it develops a chalky note, so I would advise not letting it sit that long. A huge peppery arrival on the palate with sharp charred oak and a decent amount of peat smoke. I want to use the word elegant here, but it’s not quite on that level. I can say it’s about as elegant and an Ardbeg can be, but it’s still a powerhouse of a dram. Almonds, cherries/cherry cough syrup. Briny, slightly bitter black tea, a hint of sherry and vanilla. Way in the background there is some mint. A medium to medium full bodied mouthfeel that is mouth coating and lightly oily The finish is long with peat smoke, pepper, oak and more smoke. This stuff is good, really good. It’s powerful yet sophisticated, like a 24 oz. framing hammer with a velvet covered hand grip. Definitely better than the 21 year old which I found to be a bit on the weak side. I think Lee paid upwards of $500 for this bottle, and while I can’t say it was worth that kind of money I will say it’s worthy of a special occasion pour. In the hotel room this was hands down a 5 star dram, but under closer scrutiny it’s just not quite at that level. I gave the 21 a 4.25, and I think this one fits somewhere between 4.5 and 4.75. Given the price tag, I’ll go with the lower score and say it’s a solid, respectable 4.5. Cheers
    500.0 USD per Bottle
  4. element8865

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  5. Andrew-Cavy-Cavallaro

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Got to sample this over the weekend. local shop (IN) was selling them for $500 a bottle. Very smooth Islay scotch. Still had the briny and peaty flavor you would expect, but the extra time seemed to really tone down the saltiness. The finish was long, as you would expect, but honestly didn't burn out my palate the way a typical Islay would. A sip or two of water and you could transition back to some lighter whiskey should you be so inclined.
  6. anwang96

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  7. jdc3798

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  8. Mazdaspeedrex

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  9. Kerglin

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  10. TheColeWebster

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
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