Ardbeg Twenty One

Overall rating
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Stated Age
21 years old
Ex-Bourbon Casks
Number of bottles
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml 750 ml
Bottle code
Bottled for
Ardbeg Committee
Added on
12 Sep 2016 12:22 pm by St. Pauli

Average value

€ 685.50

78 × in wishlist

338 × member ratings

1033 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg Twenty One

57 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 87.93 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2016]  Big, big disappointment!!!  There is not much difference to the younger standard bottlings that justify such an extraordinary price.  In fact, I like the standard 10 year old much better.

    Yes, this one is a little bit softer and more balanced then the TEN but at the same time there are these immature off-notes I know from the STILL YOUNG and ALMOST THERE bottlings that I simply do not like.  No way this tastes like a 21 year old - in a blind tasting I would guess not more than 15 years max. (rather less).

    But the biggest disappointment is that all these additional years of maturation have not added any single new or changed flavour compared to the younger standard bottlings.  So why the hell should one spend so much money on a rather tired, flat and uninspiring whisky?   And beware all you whisky investors, too:  You will certainly loose money on this one if you do not sell it quickly before the bubble bursts - bad news spread much, much faster than good ones....
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      82 82

  2. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    The whisky comes across rather tame and tame compared to the young Ardbegs of recent years, but does not miss the desired complexity that one expects here. I like it, even if a few percent more naturally would not have hurt.
    • Nose
      The first impression goes in a floral direction, to a well-integrated medical smoke, some cinnamon, vanilla and also significant oak influence, which brings a certain spiciness, with some time you can also find sweet overripe fruits (apple, pear), If you stick to this note, it looks light and fruity, a little mint, goes in the direction of tea, green tea, slightly nutty
    • Taste
      first smoke, intense, then directly the typical sweetness, which is known from Ardbegs, fruity, again slightly gammelig, nutty, again cinnamon, salty, is getting creamier, the mouth is full, vanilla, and then comes dry oak
    • Finish
      the mouth is still full of aromas, it gets a little drier, slightly sour on the palate, roasted aromas, the smoke settles and lies like a veil over everything

  3. checkpointuk scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur

    http://kaypingers-whiskyblog.de/frontend/fullarticle.php?id=230 Color: straw yellow Nose: Yellow-green fruit flavors with a pleasant dense spiciness. Papaya, mango and subtle lemon with salt-seasoned spice. Very creamy, already waxy in the nose. Peat, smoke and medicinal notes act in the background with delicate caramelized aromas of brown sugar cubes and vanilla. Taste: Slender body, but with a lot of maritime spice and immediately powerful. Yellow-green smoky fruit combination which has a slightly tarry and very straightforward effect on the tongue. Dry peat, leather notes, with delicately dusty paper and a little wood make it look rather dry towards the finish. Finish: Medium long - Dry-dry and balanced smoky. The fruit flavors have subsided and notes of honey, white chocolate, pepper, ashes and some coal coming to the fore. Maritime notes with delicious peat stick on the tongue. Comment: A great Ardbeg distilled in turbulent times. Well done! 91 points N: 91P / G: 91P / F: 90P

  4. whiskyfacile scored this whisky 92 points Expert Junior

    for full review go to https://whiskyfacile.com/2016/10/21/ardbeg-21-yo-twenty-one-ob-46/
    • Nose
      N: intensissimo per un 46 gradi. Tra i classici descrittori della distilleria, qui sono sugli scudi i sentori medicinali e balsamici (garze, canfora, eucalipto), fumo acre di torba, limoni/lime e liquirizia. La marinità non è poi così pronunciata, ma un senso di iodato quello sì di certo. Confetto e vaniglia, tanta tanta botte ex bourbon. Zenzero e mela gialla.
    • Taste
      P: che massacro sensoriale! Intenso, compatto, esplosivo. Rimangono evidenti le note balsamiche (aghi di pino, eucalipto) ma si fondono qui con un spesso muro di dolcezza. Il sapore è una paradossale unione di toffee e pancetta arrostita, di frutta tropicale davvero troppo matura, ma comunque invitante. Ancora tanta vaniglia, sale, liquirizia, limone e catrame. Il tutto come fuso assieme.
    • Finish
      F: il classico finale Ardbeg ceneroso e bruciato, molto lungo e molto ammaliante.

  5. Roland7 scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    Fresh fallen leaves, vegetation, mashed potatoes, smoked meats, chicken broth, hard cheese, light smoke, metal shavings, old wood, honey, sweet pastries, creme brulee, marmalade, mint.

  6. Cheng Chee Kaan scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Whisky sample from whiskygentlemen
    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  7. Whisky.Hedonist.MY scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
      Delicate tar, and very prominent medicinal smoke. The smoke is getting stronger with time, with just a slight hint of varnish. Unmistakenly Ardbeg, but I expect a lot more as the price of this malt is 10 times of the regular, standard Ardbeg
    • Taste
      88 88
      Extremely coastal and briny, the smoke is lingering behind the coastal notes. Seaweed, seashells, sea wind, etc. Nice saltiness.
    • Finish
      87 87
      Long and smoky, and salty. Quite a pleasant Ardbeg I must say. But really, I expect a lot more.

  8. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 91 points Connoisseur


    N: Ex-bourbon cask-matured, this is another bottle filled by Mickey Heads himself. I first pick out a Bowmore-esque floral aspect and a keen likeness to Port Ellen with its solid-yet-subtle smokey farmy distillate, soft pears, melon, sweet lemon trees and spicy aromas. You’ve got to dig that sublime sweetness and overall softness.
    T: Farmy & coastal – so surf n turf – the mouthfeel oozing softly with poetic smoky wisps that make their way up through a soft spicy layer.
    F: Port Ellen-esque once again with a medium-length finish and soft fade on a barley-moist ethereal sweet peat smokiness with all number of varied layers through & through.
    C: An Islay best-of perhaps, great for a Feis Ile-themed blind tasting. I wouldn’t dare add water to this one however as it’s quite delicate, especially towards the tail.

  9. SUSPIRIA.FOX scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

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

  10. schengel10 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Only considering the malt a very good bottling!
    But taking into account the price that was charged at the distillery in 2016 (€ 370), you'll see the malt different - sorry, but way too expensive for that achievement!
    [Color] honey;
    • Nose
      subtle: citrus aromas, light smoke, sweetness, oak, vanilla;
    • Taste
      creamy mild onset, buttery, honey, vanilla, herbs, some smoke, ashes, sweetness, appears "watery";
    • Finish
      medium-long malty sweetish finish; in the aftermath weak smoke flavors;


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