Ardbeg Rare Cask 1981 42 Year Old
42 Years Old | 47.3% ABV | Burnt Orange Colour
At Ardbeg Distillery, on the Isle of Islay, a few final casks were laid down to mature in eerie silence. Two weeks later, the Ardbeg stills fell silent and the Distillery closed, potentially forever.
Cask 1/1981 is from those historic reserves – the last of that era.
Presented as The Rollercoaster’s first whisky, this exceptionally rare liquid is from the very last cask remaining from the stock of 1981. First distilled 11th March 1981, this bottling is very lightly peated in character – some of the last ever made in Ardbeg’s own maltings, creating a very lightly peated “Kildalton-style” Ardbeg.
Aged in bourbon casks, then transferred into a single Oloroso sherry cask for rich, spicy notes, it is an unrepeatable taste of Ardbeg’s past.
A beautiful combination of Brazil nut flavoured toffee, orange syrup, linseed oil, the gentlest hint of woodsmoke, some touches of grilled asparagus and pepper and a soft but distinctively savoury note like sourdough bread. A few drops of water releases more toffee notes, a touch of Viennese coffee and some distant herbs.
A rich, warming and peppery mouthfeel leads into a symphony of incredible flavours – soft burnished leather, aniseed, toffee, demerara sugar and a gentle tarry smoke flavour. Then the spices appear; clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and some sweet, malty biscuity notes.
The finish, which is soothing and gentle, goes on forever, with a balanced combination of dates, toffee, leather and creosote.