Glenmorangie plc acquired Ardbeg Distillery in 1997. What they got was the site in a sorry state and neglected distillery buildings screaming for restoration.
It took a lot of effort to bring the distillery to today’s glory and elevate the brand status to cult. In 2004 Ardbeg Very Young was launch as a forerunner of four releases containing whiskies distilled under new ownership. The idea was to show evolution of whisky in the first 10 years of aging. The whisky spent 6 years in wood and was bottled unchill-filtered and at cask strength (58.3% abv). Only 2880 bottles were released, finding one today is quite a challenge.
Nose: very peaty, malty, charred oak, vanilla and distinctive hay aromas.
Palate: big and powerful, smoky, malty and spicy, sea salt, vanilla hints of citrus.
Finish: short to medium, smoky, traces of citrus and vanilla.