...and this is the great old Ardbeg I adore, but unfortunately it is a little underpowered with just 40% abv so the strong flavours profile and the rather weak mouthfeel do not really fit together. But hey, this is criticism at a very high level.
The colour is old gold and the nose offers the typical old-style (early) seventies Ardbeg profile which is incredibly complex and full of flabbergasting impressions like freshly tarred roads, old byre, machine oils of all different kinds, fishing nets - beside the traditional aromas you still find in modern drams (e.g., barley sugars, fruits, spices, peat). Great stuff, especially after I had many modern-style drams before...
The taste is nicely layered on all the fine flavours of the nose but it is a little weak due to the low abv - somehow the strong flavours do not fit with the low alcohol power, unfortunately. If this dram was a little more powered (e.g., at 46% abv) it would be much better and easily be a 90+ score - so I rate the taste 89 points only (but I can understand if others go for the higher score nonetheless).
The initial mouthfeel is warming and coating without distracting moments. The finish is long and turns even more bitter-sweet with both sugars and peaty notes getting stronger. No bitter or drying notes during the whole of the finish but still it lacks some "oompf", unfortunately. I did not add water to this anyhow underpowered dram.