Bright, salty peatiness, lemon sweetness, and I also detect some lemon poppy seed cake. A bit buttery.
OK, nothing wrong with this one so far. Not exactly elegant, sure, and in fact a bit rough for a 70's Ardbeg, but this is pretty classic. Sea salt, oily, lemony, kippers, peat, with a good, albeit generic, type of sweetness. It's not the bright mentholated fruitiness like some great Ardbegs possess, but in no way is this is an 85 pointer.
Nice long finish. Still not sure what is wrong with this one. Would pay more for this than let's say the official 1977's.
PS: After doing further research to see what accounted for the middling scores despite this being a rather good 70's Ardbeg, I realize that Serge's score for this Ardbeg was, guess what, also an 85! Ahhh... it all makes sense now.