Ardbeg Twenty Something

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
23 years old
Ex-Bourbon & Ex-Oloroso Sherry Casks
46.3 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
L60636 17008090
Bottled for
Committee Members
Added on
21 Oct 2017 3:56 pm by holborndrinker

Average value

€ 737.82

85 × in wishlist

321 × member ratings

1081 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Twenty Something

36 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.43 points

  1. Archer scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    That's when you think you're going to the next raid on an overpriced older Ardbeg and then something like that. From nose to finish, a very good, consistent whisky that does not indulge in its flavors, but serves them so appealingly that one wishes to have more than just a 5cl sample available.
    • Nose
      Significant smoke, much more intense than I would have expected at this age. Red grapes, raisins, dried figs and leather let the involved sherry barrel ring through. Despite the still very present smoke, he does not look young in the nose. Seaweed, salt, even a warm tarmac, which is more likely to be found at a neighboring distillery. Iodine sea breeze. It becomes spicier, more woody over time, but does not lose the grapes and dried fruits. Cookie dough.
    • Taste
      Thick, creamy, creamy. Smoked cherry sweets, raspberry jam, grapes, dried figs. The smoke is not too weak, but nicely enveloping the fruit notes. Warming. Fresh tobacco leaves, latte, not too old leather. Wood notes are getting through, apparently can not yet decide whether they stay permanently or just make a Stippviste. Milk chocolate, yeast dough bread. Mild pepper and nutmeg.
    • Finish
      Long and creamy finish, in which only a few, slightly tart wood notes show. Otherwise you can still find fruit scents and the pleasantly warming smoke.

  2. Palindrome scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Age isn't everything. This one doesn't compare with casks of its own vintage. Yes, I've heard the story of how Ardbeg reacquired said casks, but I think they were left unbottled for a reason. They are nice but not great.

    The old Ardbegs distilled and put in casks before the French buyout were simply better, but these casks are not among the best examples of their contemporaries.

    This said, during the crossover period some of the Old Guard remained. That's why Ardbegs were so good up until Ardbeg Day. After that . . . c'est la vie.

    The old ways were the better ways of making whisky. All of the computerized stills and fancy marketing in the world can't hold a candle to the old ways. I once saw Dr. Bill speak in person. He kind of made fun of the condition that Ardbeg's distillery was in when he took over managing operations.

    Bill said the light switches were held together with shoe laces. So be it. Shoe laces beat computers, hands down, when it comes to making GREAT EFFING SCOTCH. Sorry, Doc. The truth hurts.

    Twenty Something has a clever title, but this 'ere bottle beside me does not earn the Owl Seal of Approval.

    There is a point where human taste buds and olfactory nerves go downhill. I am 53 years old. My senses are still pretty good, insofar as such things go. I was drinking great scotch back in 1987, and from thence onward.

    "Speak memory, for thy servant hears."

    I am one of the few who can taste today's scotch and mentally compare it with the scotch of the 80's and 90's, much of which was distilled in the 60's and 70's.

    A lot has changed since the 1966, the year that I was born. Yes, this was year that some of the best Springbanks were distilled. I've tasted a few of them, but I wish I had bought a bottle of the Local Barley. It's out of my price range now. I was changing careers when the '66 vintages were being sold. Couldn't afford to buy any, and now they are out of sight in terms of cost.

    I'm one of those few people who remember moments in time with crystaline perfection. I can remember rocking in my crib before one year of age. I can remember my parents sunken living room at 1.5 years of age. I can remember bobbing down the hallway and having my father jump out and scare me at 1.5 years of age. I can remember many memories from that point onward.

    And I remember good scotch that I tasted in my 20's and 30's very clearly because I loved it so very much. This bottle does not compare, but it's not bad. It's quite tasty. Do I regret spending my money on it? No, I got a pretty good deal on mine.

    This said, I wish I could have gone back in a time machine with the same funds and purchased a few of the 1970's Ardbegs released in the early 2000's. Ah, if only . . .

    $400 in 2003 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $545.88.

    $400 in 1973 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $2,262.22.

  3. magic_slim scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    Superb Ardbeg - very tasty! Deserves to spend a lot of time for nosing and tasting. Recommended.
    • Nose
      A delicate smell of leather, peat and smoke at first nosing with a pleasant sweetness. Notes of orange and lemon tea, vanilla and macadamia nuts. A lovely nose.
    • Taste
      Warming, creamy, complex and very well aged. 

      A harmonic and mouth-watering mix of peat, wet leather, fresh pepper, oak, caramel and strong Lapsang Souchong tea. Slightly fruity (oranges). Some liquorice is coming up.
    • Finish
      Very long and pleasant, dominated by peat and pepper, nutty and salty aromas ... and tons of Lapsang Souchong. A warming peat-fire from deep inside.

  4. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 92 points Connoisseur

    I like it very much. Convinced me as a 23-year-old Ardbeg fully despite drinking strength (although I'm actually Fassstärkenfan)
    • Nose
      You can feel the sherry influence directly in the nose, the smoke is there, but by the long ripening already a good deal restrained, really creamy, with caramel, maritime, with salt, tobacco, some espresso, dark chocolate, rather dry sherry, the fruits rather slightly acidic, a nice balanced combination of ex-bourbon and Olorosoeinflüssen, the caramel is really very intense, would have been blind rather tipped in the direction of Port Charlotte, if you longer drowned he is always fresher and brighter, now rather sat by fresh fruit , Towards apple and pear .. After the first sip of the nose also roasted aromas of nuts and biscuit (the cuts of a hanuta)
    • Taste
      creamy and oily, also here a lot of caramel, starts with intense sherry notes, fat, here then dark fruits, some perfume, plum jam, not overly sweet, rather dry, dark, espresso, tingling, beautiful phenolic smoke, sour, of apple and pear , behind the ex-Bourbon notes are dominant, with a beautiful oak cargo, which brings a certain dryness with it, from sip to sip new flavors to it or they take turns
    • Finish
      Nutty, light smoke is above everything, a little chocolate, still creamy, pear skin, overall rather dry, with a nice salty touch, nice long-lasting and warming

  5. checkpointuk scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    http://kaypingers-whiskyblog.de/frontend/fullarticle.php?id=294 Color: gold Nose: Dull with leather and waxy cardboard, some tar and delicately salty lime and orange concentrate. In addition, fine vanilla flavors, sweet caramel liqueur, fresh-soft herbs, a little honey with a hint of smoky peat (floral-peaty) and a hint of nut. Taste: Salty, spicy and also rather dull. Citrus notes with fine herbs and lots of vanilla and tingling salt on the tongue. Smoke, peat, wood and some chocolate. Not too sweet and with wet leather to the finish. Finish: Medium length - fresh herbs, subtle smoke, wet coal and peaty phenols. Appearances of cocoa and liquorice develop - beautiful balance between sweetness and tartness! 90 points N: 90P / G: 91P / F: 90P

  6. Hemdl scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    After all, (almost) everyone wants to read only one thing: too little for the money. I turn the tables and say: I have already paid considerably more for worse malts. No, joking aside - Twenty Something also appeals to me as it really brings out this "smokership" and offers a nice range of flavors. Supple and slightly subtle, without being too weak (such as the 27 Laphroaig, which in the direct comparison loosely in the bag). It does not interest me much whether he gets ranked in various 70s, 80s or even anno dazum, especially since proud bottlenecks are now demanded for these bottlings. Even if the price is high and you probably as the history of the distillery, the repurchase of the barrels and some glory along paid, but you get a really delicious Ardbeg offered, at least I can absolutely convince. Whether one is worth € 480 in the end, should and must know anyway anyway.
    • Nose
      For the first moment so phenolic, slightly medicated and strong smoky that I feel reminded of a Laphroaig. Is this really an Ardbeg? After a few seconds in the glass much more moderate, almost tamed. Now the fruits from the sherry casks come into play, especially oranges, sweetened lemon slices and a touch of chocolate. The smoke is now completely disappeared from the scene, at best, he can be vaguely remembered. This has this certain "basic heaviness" in the glass, which bring many older bottlings, but at the same time looks fresh and fruity, despite recurring notes of oil and smoke.
    • Taste
      Mild on the tongue, far less smoky than at the first glance in the nose. As with the older Laphroaig, the smoke in the older Ardbeg fillings recedes somewhat, leaving fruity and sweeter notes without disappearing altogether. Of course there is smoke, tar and some oil, but also sweetish-spicy oak, some chocolate and tart cocoa, together with juicy fruity notes of oranges. In the background still a slight pepper note, which gives the whole a bit sharpness. The longer it stays in the mouth, the more it opens up and allows an interplay of flavors.
    • Finish
      Comparatively medium length, tendency to dryness. The smoke naturally reverberates for a long time, remains on the tongue together with a pleasantly spicy note.

  7. DannyDram scored this whisky 93 points Expert Senior

    What an Ardbeg, an real oldstyle one. It's difficult do believe that the average points are below 90. We tasted this Ardbeg beside higher rated Whiskies (Brora 1978 32yo, Glendronach 1972 37yo, Bowmore Sailing Seagull). This Ardbeg has for shure another profile, but on the same quality level.
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      93 93
    • Finish
      93 93

  8. Marko_I did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Saulecker and tasty. I could smoothly pour 4cl. And he still has a lot of "young" Islay-character (which I think is really good, many older peat-nose whiskys I found too boring, soft and round-eyed). However, it does not really come to anything, something old, complex, adult, 23 years old. For me, he plays in the same league as Laphroaig 15 & 18. (So PLV beyond good and evil)
    • Nose
      He smells damn young. So not metallic, sharp, immature, but the Islay peat is not a piece of weg- or herumgelutscht, very vegetable-maritime, fresh breeze, salty, waterweed, tomato herb, flower cut, a touch of disinfectant, some brackish water, compost, I would do it all expect in intensity maybe at 10 years, rather under it, by no means at over 20! ... later, the greens will fade, it will be slightly creamy, milk chocolate, a splash of lemon, !! herb crackers!
    • Taste
      creamy-sweet, latte, white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, Toffifee; to the whole maritime-greens complex of the nose, only about 1/3 so strong, but still very clear, hay, some herbal sugar, a touch of white pepper ... not particularly woody or bitter ... and so all 2, 3 sip, I'm still 'a slight fruity Gummibärchen note (no guarantee) ... delicious, tasty
    • Finish
      rather medium and cozy, first creamy, milk chocolate, then gentle, dry, warm

  9. ARDBERG scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Thankfully, I could taste a sample. Quite a nice old style Ardbeg nose and some tar that reminds me of the 1970s. But the pricing frustrates. A big money printing machine and the stuff selling out quick will certainly encourage LVMH to jack up the prices even more the next time an Ardbeg something comes around. All for you. I am out.
    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      91 91

  10. LordBellamy scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Nose: typical Ardbegrauch? No, I do not think so. The peat smoke here is rather restrained, and also goes a long way from the heavy Phenoligkeit, which one knows otherwise. Some tar is there, plus a fresh sea breeze and kelp algae, also a few herbal notes can be discovered. Behind this pleasant smoke potpourri comes out a fine sweetness, carried by vanilla, caramel and a little coconut cream, also some yellow fruits can be found (mirabelle plums?). The Oloro bottled water is not very noticeable, a few Nussaromen sneak in, but really only very discreet

    Taste: fresh, it starts in the mouth, light sweetness, subtle creamy, without being really oily or thick, a few bright / yellow fruits, then the peat is much more noticeable, a little stronger, as I would have expected the nose, but overall but less intrusive. In addition, of course, comes the oak, which wants to have a say after 23 years. In addition, a few hazelnuts and some ground coffee will show up again

    Finish: medium to long, peat smoke, oak, light sweetness, again caramel and also the fresh coffee shows, behind the back it is slightly dry and also a bit mineral

    Water: No, for me the dram does not improve with a few drops.

    Conclusion: A really great whisky, which absolutely convinced me without brute force. Almost soft, round, well-matured, the aromas harmonize with each other here. The "real" Ardbeg fan may miss the heavy smoker and also the citrus notes so often described. Not at all. I really enjoy it, but it does not seem soft washed. A high on reasonable barrels and a good maturation period. But ... but, but ... that price. I think it's just too expensive. It is and remains a 23-year-old whisky, which is fun, but it's just not worth it - at least not to me. Then rather a 1974 Ardbeg Spirit of Scotland (Whiskyauction Oct. 2017: 414.00 EUR), which gives me back for less money the "old" Ardbegfeeling of the 70s. The whisky itself (without looking at the price tag) gets from me 88/89 points


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