Summer 2021 Collectibles: Ardbeg, Midleton, Bowmore

In every issue of Whisky Advocate, we recommend three whiskies that are generally are limited releases and show the most potential to gain value. For Summer 2021, the top choices came from Scotland and Ireland.

Check out the Buying Guide for a complete list of whiskies reviewed in the Summer 2021 issue.


ardbeg 25 year old aged and cagedArdbeg 25 year old Aged and Caged
95 points, 46%, $850

Briny smoke integrates with sweet bakery aromas: vanilla, streusel, ginger-spiced pound cake, cinnamon, and allspice, studded with nuts and dried apple. With water, butterscotch oozes out. The palate’s silky texture is an ideal base for warm vanilla, toasted nuts, toffee, and milk chocolate, swirling with iodine peat and gentle gingerbread spices. The finish is complex, compelling, and quite lengthy with ginger, white pepper, allspice, saline, coffee grounds, dried apple, and lingering smoke. —Susannah Skiver Barton

Midleton Very Rare 2021
94 points, 40%, $208

Midleton master distiller Kevin O’Gorman’s debut vintage accentuates the elegant nature of Very Rare, and evokes an indulgent nose of rich caramel, dry spices, apple strudel, vanilla fudge, seasoned oak, banana, and toasted coconut. The palate revels in soft orchard fruits with a gentle undertow of spice, bananas in custard, and caramelized sugar. Including single pot still whiskey from 1984, this is fruit-led and so sippable. —Jonny McCormick

Bowmore 30 year old (2021 Release)
92 points, 45.3%, $2,500

Orange peel and black tea greet the nose on this mellow, ultra-aged expression, and lead to delicate notes of raisin, strawberry coulis, and a whiff of incense and light peat. An overlay of muted spice and peat hovers above the palate, which offers orange marmalade, cooked red berries, and chocolate eclair, punctuated on the finish by an appealing cigar ash note. Dessert and a fine stogie rolled into one. —David Fleming

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