90

Score

Murray McDavid (Distilled at Ardbeg) 1990, 8 year old, 46%

Price: $65 Issue: Summer 2000 Reviewer: John Hansell

Pale white wine color. Smoky, youthful aroma. There's no surprises here-it definitely smells like a young Ardbeg. Big beautiful explosion of smoky, tarry flavors that evolve and seem to linger on the palate indefinitely. This is the first Ardbeg release I've tasted since the distillery's long shut down in the 1980s. After the shut down, they discontinued their floor maltings, so I was concerned that it might not taste like the Ardbeg of old. Ardbeg fans can let out a big sigh of relief. This one is big and gutsy-just the way we like it. My only criticism of this particular release is that it could have used about one or two more years in oak to tame some of the spirity nature of the whisky. Otherwise, this is wonderful stuff!