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Ardbeggeddon IV - Friday January 10, 2003

We were up early and psyched.  We packed the car and drove to Logan after a light breakfast.  We arrived at Logan around 10 am for a 12:15 flight.  Check-in was a breeze and the TSA screeners had absolutely no interest in the whisky both Dave and I were carrying on.  (After we all convened in Vegas it turned out no one had the slightest problem with carryon liquor.  False alarm....)   We were at the gate by 10:30 and killed the preboarding wait but reflecting on past Ardbeggeddons and the list of spectacular drams lined up for the next 4 days.

Flight left on time and we arrived in Chicago, traveled through the psychedelic tunnel of light and sound that connects the B and C concourses and arrived at our connecting flight just as they began boarding.  We boarded and found Bushido seated 2 rows behind us.  Once the flight was underway we began breaking out drams:

  1. Tamdu 1988 G&M Cask 60.8% - this was a lemony butter monster, tremendous dram that only got better and more balanced with water.  Excellent Skalk, even though it was mid-afternoon.

  2. Glengoyne Scottish Oak, first time I've tried this dram..  interesting - need to revisit in better tasting conditions

  3. Mortlach 10 yo, 60.8%, James McArthur's Old Masters - hot but chocolate and spice with water.  Tasty dram.  Wish I had bought a full bottle rather than just a nip when in Scotland earlier this year.

  4. Knockandu 1975 corked nip (which leaked on the airplane) - may have collapsed in the bottle, nothing special

  5. Famous Grouse Vatted Malt - much better than the Knockandu, another interesting dram that I need to revisit under better tasting conditions

That was it for the flight to Vegas - the beverage service was significantly upgraded on United that flight.  We arrived at the Palms, called around and discovered the PLOWEDsters gathered in MacKaplahan's room.  We immediately joined them and kicked off the ceremonial lipping of the Local Barley

  1. Springbank Local Barley, 1966, 51.8%, wonderful dram - thanks again Dave!

  2. Springbank 1967 32 yo 46.8% Cadenhead's Chairman's Stock

  3. Springbank 8 yo 60.2% James McArthur's Old Masters - youngish and quite estery but much more balanced with water.  Need to revisit (have one of these unopened in the malt shrine)

  4. Longrow 1987 15 yo 55% Samaroli Cask #115, bottle 000131 - Great dram  - wonderful at full strength and even better with water.  Thanks Blackeno!

  5. Bowmore 29 yo 49.4% 3/64-10/93 Cadenhead's Authentic Collection  wonderful mouthfeel, sweet, beautiful dram - not a trace of FWP.

  6. Brora 29 yo 2/71-3/00 50% OMC - classic Brora, much better than the 29 yo June 71 I opened a few months ago at Mike's Whisky and Water tasting in Maine.

  7. Ardbeg 1966 32 yo 42.6% Cadenhead's Chairman's Stock - a peaty but slightly woody dram

At this point we went to dinner at the Palm's buffet - prime rib and king crab leg special.  Well timed.rejuvenated we returned and dug back into the malts.  A bit haphazardly I have to observe...

  1. Glen Garioch 10 yo 43% - old bottling from the 70's

  2. Laphroaig 30 yo 43% - somewhat faded but still a very nice and complex dram, 

  3. Macallan - Ulf Buxrud's London Mega-Tasting Vatting 

  4. Springbank 100 Double Dark - lipped!

  5. Bruichladdich 1970 44.2% - amazing dram, best of the Bruichladdich served at the Masters tasting class at FEIS ILE 2002

  6. Balvenie, Old Prestonfield

  7. Ardbeg 29 yo 50.4% Douglas Laing Old and Rare Platinum

  8. Ardbeg Provenance, 57.29%

At this point it was ~1:15 am and MacKaplahan kicked us out of his room so we moved the tasting to Tom and Alan's room - I stopped taking notes and need to reconstruct the rest of the night.  I started to fade in and out after an hour or so and was eventually woken and sent to bed around 4 am.  A great start to A4! 

Notable quotes from Ardbeggeddon IV - Day 1:

"The liver is evil and must be punished." Bushido

"I don't lip anything older than your mother"  (anon - but you can probably guess)

Photos from Day 1

Return to Ardbeggeddon  4

Last update on 1/17/03