Ardbeg 1972/2003 (49.9%, OB for Italy, VELIER, cask #2782, 246 bottles) An old glory that I already tried on Islay at the time but it’s time for a quieter and more thorough tasting. For some reason, part of this batch was shipped back from Italy to the distillery where they used to sell these glorious bottles for as little as £50 (shhhh, just between us, no ‘official’ price). Now it’s worth £1,000+ at the greediest sellers’. Free market, yeah, yeah… Colour: pale gold. Nose: simply a wilder version of the newer DL. The profile is exactly the same, only ‘louder’. Mouth: right, right, it’s all happening on the palate. Once again, the profile is very similar to the DL’s but this official is much bigger, oomphier, more satisfying and, well, punchier. You know that a whisky is great when you become short of descriptors, that is to say when the only descriptor you can come up with is ‘great old Ardbeg’. That’s exactly what’s happening now. Finish: maybe not the longest ever (old sherried Ardbegs may be longer) but totally wonderful. Comments: a breed that’s currently disappearing, that’s why these bottles fetch such high prices at auctions. Somewhat like a dead painter whose prices skyrocket at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, just because everybody knows that there will be no more. Ever. It’s probably the case here. SGP:368 - 95 points (up one point). (and thanks, Angus du Rangen).