Ardbeg 25 yo 'Lord of the Isles' (46%, OB, 2004, L4)
I must confess I only ever tried the earlier batches of the Lord of The Isles - I think it all started around the year 2000. Colour: pale gold. Nose: it's an easier whisky than the 1966, with more fruits and herbs and less sooty/tarry notes. Typical good Ardbeg from the years when the output wasn't hugely peated, not too far from the well-known official 1978s, only with more kick. Quite some burning grass, apples and fresh walnuts... Then hints of clay and maybe touches of curry. No monster despite the coffin it was delivered in. Mouth: starts relatively easy, almost smooth, but the peat blast is soon to happen. It's not very complex, but it's very complete (right, try again S.) with a sooty peatiness, fresh almonds, some lemon, green apples, touches of salt and a little pine resin. Gets rather more briny and kippery after that. Finish: it's long, saltier and more lemony. Almond and pine resin the the aftertaste. Comments: it's not a hugely complex old Ardbeg but other than that everything's totally perfect here. SGP:458 - 92 points.