Ardbeg 1976

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Calculated age
31 years old
Sherry Butt
Number of bottles
52.4 % Vol.
700 ml
Bottled for
La Maison du Whisky
France France
Added on
23 oct 2008 1:11 pm
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask StrengthSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 9294.69

71 × in wishlist

165 × member ratings

136 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Ardbeg 1976

17 users have left 19 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 94.22 points.

  1. Dram Dracula scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Tried this side by side with the #2392.
    • Nose
      94 94
      Less wild than the #2392, with brighter aromas, more mint and menthol. It's also less dark, with less dark chocolates and coffee grounds here. Fresh and approachable.
    • Taste
      94 94
      Explodes on the tongue, and the flavors stay on and on. Definitely juicier here, more sweet, with less dark fruits and more orchard fruits. Has lighter notes than the #2392. Also less precise, more all over the place. The sherry is pretty intense, still. I'm not sure which one I like more... but I think the nose on the #2397 is better, while the palate is better on the #2392. They're both not super cohesive but due to complexity, mouthfeel, and overall satisfaction, I am giving them both 94 points.
    • Finish
      93 93
      The menthol persists, with some salt and plenty of peat at the finish.

  2. prz22 scored this whisky 96 points Expert Senior

    Another fantastic ardbeg from 1976. Still, more punchy and less complex than my favourite bottling. Still, exceptional!!
    • Nose
      96 96
      Intense, meaty, sweet, peaty, superb thickness and density
    • Taste
      95 95
      A little much too spicy instead of complexity, the cask could be even better, still very well balanced, great dryness, superb quality in general!
    • Finish
      96 96
      Very dry, peaty, warm, Long, chocolates and herbs, spices, great!

  3. hs305 scored this whisky 95 points Connoisseur

    [December, 2020] It is Christmas night and tonight I did not do any randomly pick out of my samples library but I went straight to the Islay box and selected two Ardbeg - a "faked with Port Ellen" from 1974 (WB id 11910) and this "certified" OB from 1976, one of the highest scoring Ardbeg here at WB...

    ...and indeed this is excellent stuff. Many good reviews are published on the dram already so I can skip the aromas and flavours description and rather focus on the overall tasting enjoyment instead - and that is flabbergasting! Great stuff from the past and certainly worth heavy bucks, how many depends solely on the deepness of your pockets. A perfect pick for Christmas night!
    • Nose
      95 95
      The colour is deep copper and the nose offers exactly this adorable mix of peaty, malty, sherried and wooden aromas old Ardbeg are so famous for. Dozens of different impressions float my olfactory cells with none of them trying to be dominant - and most aromas rather belong to the old whisky styles (not wood/cask-driven but spirit/peat-induced). A nose that can be explored for hours and it is a great pleasure to do so. After significant time of breathing (more than 30 minutes) the interesting peaty-medicinal notes grow stronger while the sherry aromas retreat somewhat - but the balance is kept all the time.
    • Taste
      96 96
      The taste is multi-multi layered with an unbelievably rich profile of different flavours and all in perfect harmony. Again, this is not cask-driven like most of the modern drams but the cask did an excellent job in enriching and supporting the maturation of the spirit. This is a must-chewer and I suggest to keep it in the mouth as long as you can resist the reflex to swallow it. It offers new impressions all the time and none of them are disappointing, actually I enjoy every single one very much.
    • Finish
      95 95
      The initial mouthfeel is very satisfying with a warming and creamy texture coating all of the mouth very quickly. No distracting bitter or drying moments neither in the arrival nor during the finish. That is very long and it vanishes in slowly fading waves which focus on different aspects of the taste again. A dram which can be savoured for hours because I need another small sip only for a new kick of long lasting impressions. Great stuff to quaff! Water smooths the dram but like so often the different layers intermingle now so I suggest to explore this dram neat first before experimenting with any reduction. Personally I prefer the neat dram, but it swims very well, too.

  4. Toppfolk scored this whisky 100 points Member Junior

    One of the absolutte best
    • Nose
      Some smoke, leather, seaweed, nutts, toffee
    • Taste
      Spice, toasted nutts, dried orange, caramel. Creme brulee. Some taste og coffee and coco.
    • Finish
      Spice, cofee, caramel. Long .

  5. Kalleholzbein scored this whisky 95 points Expert Senior

    Unbelievable Whisky - very high Level!
    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      94 94
    • Finish
      96 96

  6. SFWC scored this whisky 96 points Expert Senior

    linconimp in reply to your comment on me scoring pricing at 100. Pricing scores are irrelevant as the prices vary for everybody. Lets say I acquired this bottle today for $500. My price score could be 100 and lets say you acquire it for $3000 your score could be 50? Its arbitrary and a useless metric on here imo. Auction prices differ vastly and the subjectivenes of pricing for each individual has to be considered. So. Our scores only reflect the quality of the spirit in the bottle and I would ask you to ignore the pricing or presentation scores. We actually throw out all packing, boxes etc from our cellar to maximise space. We only care about the quality of the whisky in the bottle.

  7. SFWC scored this whisky 96 points Expert Senior

    The Nose is powerful and complex. There is a lot going on in here. Sherry fruits in harmony with Ardbeg spirit and peat power.

    On the palate in combination with the nose, this is really One of the truly great old Ardbegs. The combination of sweet and sour here is superlative. The sherry never dominates. It compliments the Ardbeg spirit and peat flavors perfectly. The harmony in this glass elevates the drinker.

    Arguably, it may not have the dark complexities of an old Brora or some old Samaroli blends and other more savory malts but what it brings to the party is an unforgettable and lasting performance.
    • Nose
      96 96
    • Taste
      96 96
    • Finish
      96 96

  8. Thermidor scored this whisky 93 points Connoisseur

    By nose a 94, by taste a 93, but a fresher bottle could've maybe hit solid 94.
    • Nose
      Uh-oh. Smells like gratuitous malt porn here. It's that 70's show, with all the favorites like the smoothest leathery notes ever, from boots to bags to bookbinds. Perfect fatty peat, blackpepper, herbal liqueurs, and soft salmiak notes. Faintly marine and salty too, and very total, without dissonances or vulgarities. With water: the same but it's easier to pick up the charry, sherried oak now, and some chocolate appears. Oddly, for about 5-10 minutes after adding water, it smells strongly like a tire fire. Perhaps an artifact of this dram being from a bottle that has been open an unknown amount of years.
    • Taste
      Absurdly good body. Amply giving and rounded, with glorious levels of biting, all-encompassing peat and old sherry. A fair amount of drying tannins and strong char. The sherry's not at all sweet, but it's very resinous with a side of excellent soy sauce. Water doesn't seem to dilute it at all. It just takes the edge off the ABV and the peat.
    • Finish
      Takes a while to sit down, leaving charred sherry and a mouth-coating layer of peat that doesn't seem to go away at all. So vivid and attention-grabbing! Water makes the sherry last that much longer.

  9. dram-drinker scored this whisky 95 points Photo Moderator

    • Nose
      94 94
    • Taste
      96 96
    • Finish
      95 95

  10. dram-drinker scored this whisky 95 points Photo Moderator

    A rather meaty and leathery expression of an Ardbeg but with a great sweetness. Fantastic!
    • Nose
      Fresh, peaty, smoky, bonfire, citrusy, zesty, also a bit going into grassy notes - typical great Ardbeg - a bit lacking of sweetness
    • Taste
      The sweetness is back which was missing on the nose - it's greatly in balance with the peat and smoke and the woody notes. Meaty, Pata Negra ham, fruity, grapefruits, little citrusy, little leathery notes
    • Finish
      Long and nice - the sweetness is carrying on

  11. Snerik scored this whisky 93 points Expert Junior

    It’s cool when you read all the different comments in the section below. Because it really shows of the depth of whisky as a product but also how completely different one person is from another when it comes to making associations and describing those experiences in text. Never the less – amazing whisky and I’m really glad and happy I got to try it! 
    • Nose
      This nose is just so, so expressive. Bacon, charcuteries, firewood, damp forest, grilled paprika, raisins, chives. This list goes on and on! 
    • Taste
      Slightly bitter, but very balanced. Loads of raisins here, and paprika and charcuteries. 
    • Finish
      Well, it’s a very peated finish. Notes of cacao, raisins and all that lovely goodness. But elegant and powerful! 

  12. aphex scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    Tasted for 1h30. Beautiful complexity and evolution on the evening between the nose and the mouth.
    Fantastic dram.
    • Nose
      A good peaty sherry with a little sea air. 31 minutes of ventilation later notes of softwoods, smoke, hydrocarbons.
    • Taste
      Nice attack. Softwood always, charcoal, tar. Superb.
    • Finish
      Long, on continuity.

  13. Mr.Sandwich scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    Original Tasting Notes:

    Colour: Deep golden.Aroma: Ardbeg at its most paradoxical - powerful and pungent, yet displaying a degree of delicacy and balsamic freshness. At full strength, dark chocolate is filled with cherry brandy and infused with tarry peat smoke. Marzipan, toffee and vanilla mingle with rum and raisin ice cream; then the sweetness is sliced through by pungent black peppercorns, fennel and the salty-balsamic complexity of menthol, pine resin and sea spray.  Barbequed bananas, cinnamon-spiced pears and caramalised walnuts bring sizzling warmth and deep maturity. With water, waves of classic Ardbeg notes energe, fused with juicy malt, luscious fruits and oily nuts: tarry ropes, briny sea-salt and fresh zesty limes battle it out against blueberry pie, spiced plum skins and weighty crushed sultanas. Creamy honey, treacle toffee and hazelnuts collide with pinesap, cedar and iodine. Espresso and cream simmers in the background.

    Taste: Rich and oily with an intense burst of smoked berry fruits, treacle and juicy malt. The taste is initially deep and powerful as an avalanche of mouthwatering baked blueberry pie, dried apricots, dates and plums deepens and rolls over the tongue, drizzled with treacle and a sprinkling of peaty-demerara sugar. A mouthful of Macchiato coffee and clotted cream rises to a cresendo bringing a robust and earthy warmth, before a wave of briny-iodine, powdery violets and walnut oil freshens then dries the palate with lingering tarry espresso.

    Finish: Long, spiced, oily and salty with spiced blueberry, treacle, sun-dried raisins and walnut oil.

  14. ASWhisky scored this whisky 94 points Connoisseur

    yes! I'm in heaven and can not leave here

    many seductive aromas with character and exciting staged

    Ranking: 1.Nase, 2. Mouth, 3. Reminder
    • Nose
      You go to the pier to look at the strange ship
      the salty seawater has been retiring for hours
      the warm sandy silt smells mineral
      The iodine shimmers in the last seawater puddles
      the ship rises out of the mud like a frozen skeleton
      next to the damp slippery algae at the jetty
      small sherry barrels and wooden boxes filled with ripe oranges pile up
      warm wind blows you against the spicy fragrance of the strange ship
      Coffee, cloves, a touch of cardamom, cayenne pepper, mugwort
      Peaty smoke mixes with the fresh scent of the oranges
      The ship creaks in the sun and wakes you from your dreams
      You open your lips to breathe deeply the exotic smell
    • Taste
      Chocolate with a fresh orange taste touches your tongue
      spicy Arabic coffee
      Sea water with salt, iodine and algae
      damp ship wood
      everything becomes exotic, spicy and spicy in your mouth
      the harbor, the sea, the smoky roasted aromas
      and in the background like a perfect underpainting the noble unobtrusive sherry note
      The taste in your mouth awakens desires and fantasies in you
    • Finish
      long and warm
      dark spicy coffee flavors
      barrel flavors
      warm orange slices
      the sun is setting slowly in the seawater
      Tomorrow you go back to the pier
      the memory will not let you go

  15. Kanalpirogel scored this whisky 92 points Member Junior

    • Nose
      Dirty smoke, oil, tar, plums pickled in soot, it slowly opens and the dirty notes make room for new aromas: smoked ham, sweet berries… then the smell becomes fresher: honey, toffee, even some lemon, but the dirty notes keep coming back, like burning freshly mown, damp grass. – later the character of this Ardbeg changes again: The sherry cask says hi with sweet notes of Black Forest cherry cake, but also with red and yellow plums again.

      A wonderfully complex nose whose character changes by the minute. From dirty notes to sweetness to heavy sherry fruits… ever-altering and yet with very distinct aromas at each stage.
    • Taste
      Starts with a strong Ardbeg sweetness, followed immediately by the dirty smoke. It tingles on the tongue without being pungent, slowly the sherry fruits appear, but of the sweet rather than of the dark, heavy variety. The sweetness transforms into honey and liquorice notes, while the smoke continues to linger in the background.
    • Finish
      Liquorice, malt, vanilla, sweet red fruits, toffee, fading out
      in tasty bonfire smoke that accompanies the sweet fruits on their farewell tour, which is delightful and lasts very long.

  16. tuntime scored this whisky 92 points Expert Junior

    I wanted to know what it meant to drink Ardbeg from the 70s. What was I missing out on? So I Spent 38 Euros on this sample. Yes, it`s a great whisky. No, it didn`t blow my mind. So you`re not really missing out if you haven`t tried it. Excellent nose with complexity and balance, very flavorful and well-aged on the palate. Some tartness on the finish. Terrific whisky, but not transcendent.

  17. Dede scored this whisky 94 points Expert Senior

    In absolute terms, it's too expensive. But if you are looking for a reason to chill with your banker, do not go any further. It is exactly for this kind of dram that no other spirit has managed to take the place of whisky in my heart. Divine.
    • Nose
      It starts like an ordinary Islay, peat, lemon, sea. But minute after minute, it gains in size and complexity, with the appearance of these beautiful resinous and camphoric notes typical of old Ardbegs. Then comes sherry and its cohort of cocoa and balsamic vinegar. From its alliance with the peat arise hydrocarbons, coal smoke, tobacco, tar, leather. Fab '... Adding water adds to its intensity.
    • Taste
      Peaty and resinous, with notes suggestive of violet, far from the chemical aspect of Bowmore 80's. It develops on the bitterness of gentian, camphor, Chartreuse, clove, always coal smoke and tar, but also cocoa and citrus (lemon, but especially orange). Huge, and maybe even better with a little water that loosens the aromas.
    • Finish
      Long, extremely peaty and marked by gentian before a subtle acidulous and floral return.

  18. QuarterCentury did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    A legendary vintage release from Ardbeg in the years after they were

    acquired by Glenmorangie. Matured for 31 years in a sherry butt and

    bottled at cask strength in 2008.

  19. johnfool scored this whisky 97 points Member Senior

    Commentary of the Whisky House

    As often with this Islay, peat is at first discreet, almost shy. She climbs crescendo to finally take full possession of the palace. Ardbeg deserves its status as the most peaty single malt. This vintage 1976 reveals even in the empty glass notes of oil, diesel and cod liver oil. Purists will not complain. To be served on Angus beef and blue cheese. Color : topaz with slightly amber highlights. Nose : rich, concentrated. Sparkling, the first nose reveals ripe fruit (apple, plum). Straw, wet earth and smoke then take over. Notes of undergrowth (mushrooms, tobacco). Palate : powerful, firm, oaky. Menthol and medicinal nuances (balm) give it a lot of liveliness. Peat is more and more present. Animal (smoked meat), spicy (clove) and lightly toasted (walnuts). Final : long, complex. Particularly earthy (gentian root), ashy and peaty, it is also spicy (cardamom, clove) and salty. It continues with gourmet notes of dark chocolate and bourbon vanilla.


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