Overall rating
89.53/100
votes
116
Whiskybase ID
WB161592
Category
Blended Malt
Bottler
Malts of Scotland (MoS)
Bottling serie
Ardenistiel
Bottled
2020
Stated Age
18 years old
Casktype
Sherry, Brandy, Red Wine
Casknumber
MoS 20037
Number of bottles
1395
Strength
52.9 % Vol.
Size
50 ml 700 ml
Added on
06 jul 2020 11:13 pm by IsleofArrik
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 399.00

44 × in wishlist

116 × member ratings

232 × in collection

Whisky reviews for The Dark Side of Islay 18-year-old MoS

20 users have left 20 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 89.53 points.

  1. didi1893 scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    A real chameleon! The nose fakes a sweet and fruity malt, but in the mouth the Ardenistiel shows its dirty and smoky side! Admittedly, it is precisely this interplay of flavors that makes the Ardenistiel an incredible taste experience! A great and incredibly delicious malt, tastes and pleases!

    23/23/22/23 (91P)
    • Nose
      Slightly reddish caramel shines mysteriously in the Premium Snifter while long and oily "legs" run their wonderful tracks on the glass wall. A hint of fly ash mixes with caramel and sweet fruits at the first nose, creamy vineyard peach plays with cardboard-sweet syrup, apricots and apothecary peppermint leaves end slightly earthy. A minimal peat note is released from the bewitching fruit note while a sweet smoky note lies in the background. Hints of leather, a few dashes of orange juice, sweet peach with raspberries and a delicate aroma of sweet cherries and morello cherries, caramel and toffee with emerging peppermint ...
    • Taste
      After the wonderful nose has already massively stimulated the flow of saliva, I'm looking forward to the first sip. Creamy wood tones, warm smoke and ash, burnt wood and subtle peppery heat immediately heat up the tongue and the palate. Burnt sugar sticks to the palate with ashes, chubby warmth floods the mouth, rubbing off old orange and grapefruit peels trickles onto dark grapes and berries. Earthy peat rises and mixes with slightly acrid smoke, white pepper tingles on the tongue and makes the palate glow. The pleasant sharpness is occasionally broken through by caramel and toffee, hazelnuts appear, apricots and peaches end in a hint of furniture polish and hints of old leather. Spicy wooden elements swim creamy in the stimulated saliva under the tongue, an unusual fruit mix of red fruits, citrus fruits and vineyard peaches or apricots gives the taste a wonderfully unique note. With an earthy base note, taste and aftertaste slowly blur ...
    • Finish
      Earthy and slightly smoky, the Ardenistiel sticks to chubby warmth with a slightly spicy pepper note on the palate. Creamy and partly dried fruit notes come into their own, hints of hazelnut and burnt wood become more dominant, fly ash pulls through the throat, a tiny menthol note arises. The harmoniously coordinated aromas remain in memory for a long time and demand another sip ...

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  3. Boletus did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    A very nice proof of high blending art. Very complex, yet extremely mature and well-rounded, a real work of art is created here. A whiskey to spend a lot of time with without getting bored. I am impressed!
    • Nose
      A complex mixture of aromatic peat smoke and sweet and at the same time enormously spicy barrel influences penetrates the olfactory receptors, slightly mineral, leather and high-quality tobacco, a cigar lies next to a steaming cup of Earl Gray tea on a neat old oak table, a touch of patchouli wafts through the room , mousse au chocolat, a pack of cinnamon sticks is freshly opened, juicy oranges, fully ripe plums and morello cherries, also ripe raspberries and blackberries, dates in a crispy bacon coat are waiting in the background, some Treacle toffee, a very appealing smell that makes it easy with any high-priced men's perfume, mature and round, no component pushes itself to the fore, instead everything is very tightly interwoven and complements a coherent overall picture
    • Taste
      Dark chocolate is melted in the mouth with a sip of black tea, a drop of bergamot oil, candied blood orange, a slightly mineral and spicy smoke component gradually builds up, but this is restrained and leaves room for juicy sultanas and preserved morello cherries, blackberries and black ones Currants bring a slight acidity into play, quickly put another mulled wine candy from the Christmas market in your mouth, then it becomes malty and nutty, some liquorice and marzipan, roasted hazelnuts, ripe aromas of leather and tobacco combine with robust oak, finally there are still some a few spicy notes, primarily cinnamon and star anise
    • Finish
      Quite a long and smooth finish with aromatic dark oak notes free from bitter substances, black tea with Demerara, dark chocolate cream and a small piece of toffee, roasted hazelnuts, some leather and cigar tobacco create a minimal dryness, cinnamon, a hint of plum and blackberries creeps out of the cheeks , Cassis, a slightly ashy and minerally smoky aftertaste lingers with a subtle raisin sweetness

  4. Lu Cifer scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
      pleasant, aromatic smoky, somewhat hearty, creamy, spices, wood / oak, a little sweet with honey, slightly fruity, citrus fruits (orange and lemon), raspberries in dark chocolate, maritime idea, a little flowery and herbaceous, hint of eucalyptus.
      88
    • Taste
      89 89
      smoky-spicy-sweet, also here slightly hearty, some honey, slightly creamy, red fruits, citrus fruits. On the finish with wood / oak notes, dark chocolate, ash, idea salty. Has a few rough edges, but also tasty.
      88-89
    • Finish
      88 88
      Slightly salty and slightly fruity, then a bit tart, smoke, oak / wood notes, spices, a little hearty and sweet, now a bit of dark chocolate, smoky and ashy, a few roasted nuts, the idea ends with a malty finish.
      87-88

  5. rpvdwel scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      86 86

  6. mema82 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  7. Bowmore Axel scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      92 92
      Red fruits, grape acidity, somewhat raisin, sea air, coconut,
      Menthol, some cinnamon.
    • Taste
      90 90
      Powerful, sweet, bittersweet, salty - maritime, red-fruity,
      fine fruit acid, slightly peppery when chewed for a long time.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Powerful, salty-maritime, slightly like a cigar box. Peppery.

  8. Malthead_80 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  9. hs305 scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    [February, 2021] A quick review of a small sample so take it with a grain of salt. Obviously, the bottler finds the standard Islay profiles too dull so he enriched them by many different powerful flavours of sherry, brandy and red wine casks...

    ...which ended up in a war of flavours, to be honest. It does not require special skills to mix many strong flavours altogether (anyone can do this) but it is very hard to create a result which is more than just the sum of its parts. And this result is much less than the sum of its parts, unfortunately as many ingredients lost their charm when battling for dominance. Certainly a dram purposely created for the relentless "flavour-thrill-seekers" among whisky drinkers, no doubt - but it is very hard to enjoy if you prefer delicate and harmonious profiles.
    • Nose
      82 82
      The colour is amber (which is not that dark as the name suggest) and the nose offers exactly what the receipt promises - many powerful aromas which all fight over dominance. There is one looser among them which is the malt who is knocked out right at the start of the combat already while the wines, brandy and wood fight endless fiery battles in my nose. This is interesting to watch (like martial arts scenes in movies) but to be honest, after a while is gets boring as if you follow an action movie without any story to tell (and without any happy end, of course). I can understand why others find this impressive, but to me it is not entertaining - it is simply overkill to my olfactory cells, sorry folks.
    • Taste
      85 85
      The battle rages on on my taste buds but it seems as if the wine flavours gain ground over the wooden and peat troops (which is better than the other way around). The malt is either killed already or it hides cowardly in a shelter afraid of joining the combat. This is a "love-it-or-hate-it" profile and there is a thin line between the two, unfortunately I am not on the loving side. Do not get me wrong: Contrary to the rather disappointing nose this dram is quite quaffable if you do not insist on malt flavours in your malt whisky.
    • Finish
      83 83
      The dram arrives warming but not very much coating on the palate with some bitter-astringent moments (both tannins and heavy peats). The finish is of medium length and adds no new impressions, surprisingly. It seems as if the combatants are exhausted after all these battles and head for a quick retreat. And the malt still is afraid of coming out (if it is still alive, after all). Water strengthens the winey aromas in the nose but the wooden and peaty flavours on the palate as if even the water rejects to decide which side should win. A strangely designed dram, and looking at all the high scores here at WB it enjoys a big fan base which is fine. Sorry, but I will not join this group...

  10. zapfdaniel scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  11. Indianerhäuptling scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  12. Horror_Vacui scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Nose:
    Has something Bowmore-like with a slightly "perfumed" floral smoke.
    Very complex with nuts, dried fruits (fig and raisins), dark chocolate grated, cinnamon cream.
    At times a bit greasy.

    Mouth:
    In the mouth, the smoke comes through much more powerfully in the form of cold ash. Dark fruits, Christmas stollen, nut (walnut and hazelnut).
    And again floral-perfumed smoke aromas that I associate strongly with Bowmore. At times, however, something greasy again.

    Finish:
    Medium-length, fruity-spicy with a moderate oak impact.

    90/100

    Conclusion:
    A very fine and spicy-fruity malt that I place on Islay and suspect a Bowmore. It takes a long time to sniff at him and has a lot to offer, especially in the nose.

  13. JacobaEd scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      87 87

  14. Totoro scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    It's great, even if the purist in me thinks that the part would have been even better without the wine (brand) barrels.
    • Nose
      90 90
      Spicy, earthy peat smoke, appears somehow dry / burnt, almost dusty, like coal dust from the stove. Associations of forest floor (including the mushrooms) and drying autumn leaves. Behind it then a dark chocolatey sweetness paired with - to put it casually - a little schnapps impression. All in all, it is reminiscent of cocoa-based and alcoholic chocolate mousse (with rum or cognac) or dark truffle pralines with an alcoholic filling. Nice combo. I'm always quite skeptical about wine and brandy barrels, but it fits here. Everything also looks nicely set (and not set up). Great thing for autumn and winter. The only mild point of criticism is a slightly vinous acidity, which I would have liked a little less of.
    • Taste
      88 88
      The taste is "vinous" and "burnier" than in the nose, the smoke fades into the background. Easily drinkable even without water. I can't get rid of the "dessert-with-alcohol" association (see below). Sweet, nutty, creamy (although I wouldn't necessarily describe the mouthfeel as thick, oily or something similar), full, with red, slightly sour fruits (currants? Strawberries?) And then towards the end more dry smoke.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Chocolate aaaaaaaade, cocoa, sweetened espresso, crème caramel, tiramisu, amarena cherries. Oh, and peat smoke. I like the reverberation better than the taste in the mouth because it is now less sour and smokier again. Great.

  15. Issie did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Very sedate warm smoke, maritime, wood, nuts, red currants, some lemon, some earth, slightly dried fruits, a few spices, grass
    • Taste
      Honey, herb candy, apple, strawberry, blackberry, cherry, lime, nuts, some chocolate, some wood, pepper, some ash

  16. Hvdree scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      87 87

  17. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    I definitely find the suspected Ardbeg here, tends to have a Bunna and as a triumphant member of the league, there could also be a Bowmore, then the island would have been well covered ;-) The result is definitely very nice, like on all of the Dark Side of Islay I've tried so far. "
    • Nose
      starts fresh with citrus notes, grated lemon peel, some biscuit, slightly spicy smoke, overall rather on the sweet side, then dark chocolate comes through, raisins, slightly sour, with the smoke also comes something maritime, slightly salty, smoked fish, tobacco, some raspberry, Relatively complex and changeable in the nose, a lot of fun, at the back there is also a slightly floral note, espresso, really a lot
    • Taste
      full-bodied, acidic, but also sweet, chocolatey, berries, roasted aromas, nut, vanilla, creamy, maritime, salt, dry smoke, dark chocolate, lemon, espresso, also sweeter fruit, raisins on the palate, also very changeable here
    • Finish
      the transition from the creamy roasted aromas is then quite dry, lemon, but now rather sour, nuts, the smoke is ashy over the entire mouth

  18. whiskyleaksulm scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
      Wonderful, deep dark notes of fine polish, a little leather, but then thicker earthy sweetness with oranges and raisins immediately flow into the nose. The smoke is there and can be seen very finely. Compote and pickles dominate the nose, with mineral notes here and there. Very fine, pleasant and intense fragrance.
    • Taste
      90 90
      The dark notes continue on the palate. The Ardenistiel remains deep earthy, dense and strong, but the alcohol is super pleasant, not a bit too much. Even makes a somewhat older impression than "only" 18 years. Also in the taste, the smoke does not appear to be the dominant part of this blend, it remains beautifully reserved, spices of wood, a little maggi (with water) and aroma density make it up. Sweetness always stands out beautifully and it tingles on the tongue. He likes to change and time different faces.

      It rises even more with water and is much more spicy than before with tobacco and a little more smoke.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Long, spicy, sweet and smoky!

  19. Ruisdael scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  20. Odysseus93 scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  21. rampah scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      91 91
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

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