Ardbeg Lord of the Isles 25 Year

Scotch Whisky Review #459: Ardbeg Lord of the Isles 25 Year

Distillery: Ardbeg.

Region: Islay.

Age: 25 Year. Bottled on October 25, 2001.

ABV: 46.00%.

Price: $80/oz.

Color: 1.3, Russet/Muscat.

Nose: There’s a decent amount of peat along with a lot of mineral-esque notes. The mineral notes are quite strong, quite reminiscent of iron supplements the wife take. A note of grapefruit is also quite prominent along with some menthol, lavender, and a bit of hand lotion.

Palate: Smoky, citrusy, and tart. I haven’t had smoked grapefruit before but this is what I imagine it would taste like, a mix of smoke and grapefruit juice.

Finish: Medium-to-short in length. A bit of smoke, not a ton going on.

Conclusion: Just around a year ago, I was sitting at the Jack Rose in Washington D.C. asking the bartender about the bottle of Ardbeg Lord of the Isles that they had on the shelf. He actively discouraged me from ordering it saying it certainly wasn’t worth the price and I ended up ordering a Millburn instead. Still, the curiosity about this famous bottling still sat with me and eventually I tracked down some. I have to say, the bartender at the Jack Rose was absolutely correct. My tasting notes from this bottle literally had “nothing special” written down. The nose is the most interesting part with grapefruit, minerals, and some aromatics. The palate is tasty but fairly simple and the finish is very simple. While I’m glad to have satiated my curiosity about this dram, I’ve yet to be impressed by Allied-era Ardbeg and this did nothing to change my mind.

Final Score: 80.

Scotch Whisky Review #459, Islay Review #77, Whisky Network Review #616

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
  • 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
  • 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
  • 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
  • 70-74: Alright, solid and wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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