Bought: The Wee Dram, 13th October 2015
94/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
85.78/100 – Whiskybase (average from 184 member votes)
The ‘Kildalton’ was originally an experimental lower peated whisky produced at Ardbeg between 1979 and 1981 before the distillery halted all production that year. A cask strength version of Kildalton was released in 2004 (from 1980 stock) and a limited edition appeared in 2005 (from 1981 stock). The bottle I have is from 2013 but sadly it’s not from whisky distilled over 30 years ago. I suppose if it was it would be £1,000 knowing what Ardbeg prices are like.
The 2004 release of the Kildalton was quite iconic. It scored 96/100 in the Whisky Bible and breaks 90/100 on Whiskybase from 76 member votes. Bottles can still be found at auction but usually cost over £500. Thankfully the 2013 release is a good bit cheaper, with a bottle selling for £125 at an auction in November 2015. I believe the original price direct from Ardbeg in 2013 was £120.
Jim Murray scores this Kildalton 94/100 in his Whisky Bible, which classifies it as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”. He says about the taste “unusually thin first few moments on the palate and takes a while for the smoke, accompanied by the thin layer of plum jam, to make an impact. When it arrives; it stays….” He concludes with “youthful and lightly smoked” and “the most subtle of Ardbegs, which whispers its beauty, though quite audibly.”
Nearly 86/100 on Whiskybase is definitely an excellent score but experienced dramsters such as Serge Valentin say they prefer the 10yo. This Kildalton is likely to be younger than 10 years but is the same 46% as the 10yo, which only costs £40. But the Kildalton 2013 release was for charity, which forgives the price tag in some way. Whisky expert and taster Horst Luening discusses the Kildalton in his video below: