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Ardbeggeddon III - Tuesday January 8, 2002
Boston to San Francisco

Loco and I rose early and wired after only about 4 hours of sleep.  Psyched!  The Ardbeggeddon waits patiently for us on the other side of the country...  

After a few rounds of coffee I indulged in an early morning skalk of the Moidart to set the tone for the day.  Stunning breakfast dram...  

Hit the road around 6:30 am, arrived at Logan around 7:30 am and our direct flight to San Francisco left on time at 9:00 am.   Uncharacteristically, we didn't dram at all on the flight out and our travel nips stayed packed safely away.  We picked up the rental at SFO and after they tried to talk us into an upgrade to a full-sized van they gave us one anyway - only vehicles they had left on the lot.  We muttered about the injustice of 2 single men on a malt whisky expedition being saddled with a minivan, but when we saw the brand new full sized Grand Caravan we chucked and realized the universe was assigning us to assume the role of the traveling malt family from hell...   life is indeed interesting and twisted.  We decided we were up to the task.

We drove directly to The Whisky Shop and found the 16 cases of the Ardbeggeddon waiting for us in the corner of the shop.  Unfortunately they weren't prepared to ship out some of the bottles to Plowsters who would not be in Las Vegas so we took them all into protective custody and began contingency planning for alternative shipping options.  As of this posting, we haven't decided how best to do this.

We packed the car with The Ardbeggeddons, drove over to the Filmore area, and parked near Kevin and Jen's apartment - our hosts for the evening.  We immediately cracked open our first Ardbeggeddon and celebrated our first major milestone of this adventure. 


The color of the dram is a warm yellow with a slight touch of red.  The nose immediately upon opening was a sweet sherry/peat balance that Dave thought had a more pronounced sherry component than he remembered from his earlier tasting of the cask sample.  The palate again resonated with peat and sherry with overtones of seaweed, brine and  a bit more of a tweak of alcohol than I expected from this 48.4% cask strength bottling.   The finish transitioned nicely with a sweet complexity reminiscent of some type of smoky candy we couldn't immediately identify.  I described it as being a cross between hard butterscotch candy and toffee, although without the intensity of either.  A very complex, peaty, tasty dram...

In subsequent tastings that day the sherry influence faded a bit and reminded Dave more of his impressions from the cask sample.

Here are Michael Jackson's and David Broom's tasting notes from Whisky Magazine No 22 (May 2002).   They both thought it was an very ardbeggian dram! Reading this once again made me wish I had bought more...  next time...

EXCELLENT DRAM!  We were both very pleased - both in the quality of the dram and the fact that we had 92 more bottles in the back of the van. 

We walked around the neighborhood while waiting for Kevin and Jen to return from work and FOAFed D&M Liquors.  Dave picked up a very dark instore bottling of Signatory 25 yo Glen Grant distilled in 1976 and I picked up an 8 yo Island Dun Bheagan (Talisker) that I had never seen before.  We both also FOAFed sets of a Signatory 2-nip package of sherry casked Benrinnes and Mortlach distilled in 1989. 

After a series of post-work drams, we went out to eat with Kevin, Jen, and Marie at Beetlenut, an authentic asian beer house on Union Street where we worked our way through a series of amazingly flavored dishes - all of which were over the top.   A very fun and lively atmosphere as well - I highly recommend this restaurant and have placed it on my list of favorites in the San Francisco area.

We returned to Kevin and Jen's and continued dramming until around 11 pm - the first Ardbeggeddon finished the day about 1/4 full.  Dave presented Kevin and Jen with a full bottle of The Ardbeggeddon to repay their hospitality and they became the third and forth folks in the US to possess this dram.  

Photos from Tuesday - Day 1 of Ardbeggeddon are posted here - I have more on my regular camera I'll add once I get the film developed.

Wednesday, January 9 - Drive to Los Angeles

return to Ardbeggeddon 3

last updated on 3/20/02