For peat lovers, Ardbeg 10 Year Old is probably the highest-quality ‘entry-level’ single malt on the market, and the distillery many Islay connoisseurs would choose as their favourite. A whirlwind of peat and complex malty flavours.
A phenomenal whisky packing powerful peaty deliciousness, Ardbeg 10 Year Old is a favourite of many whisky lovers around the world. Produced on the Kildalton Coast of Islay, this single malt matures for a decade before being bottled without any chill-filtration. If you’re after a whisky with full of coastal air, smoke and more, this is exactly what you want.
Ardbeg 10 is a relatively simple dram. It is Ardbeg single malt, using heavily-peated malt (55 to 65 ppm) from the maltings at Port Ellen; By the way, Ardbeg’s own kiln-fired maltings closed in 1977. And aged for at least 10 years in ex-bourbon barrels. The whisky is batched and bottled without chill filtration at 46% ABV. I’d like to point out that unlike many other whiskies *cough*Macallan*cough*, Ardbeg 10 has risen in price only by about 10% in the past 5 years but is stil just as good, and still a decade old whisky.
Visually: Light golden straw in colour. Medium-thin legs.
Nose: Peat smoke and bandages right off the pour. Opens up to reveal more peat, more smoke, and more bandages. Menthol and eucalyptus lozenges. A hint of white grapes with more bold notes of peanuts, brine, grass clippings clogging a mower after cutting a wet lawn that had grown a little too long, a bit of sweat, and butter.
Palate: Still showcases the collision of lightness and smoke that Ardbeg is striving for. Light mouthfeel. Delicate on the tongue with powerful flavours. Salt takes the lead ahead of the full force of the smoke, which follows in very short order.
Salted whipped honey, dried mango and papaya, fresh chopped parsley on buttered pasta, a bit of Thai sweet chili. The finish is ushered in by the smoke, which takes centerstage after the swallow. Lingering notes of salt and vanilla cream with persistent smokiness.
Finish: Long and peaty with bits of tropical fruit, honey, vanilla, sweetness and granola.
What some of our whisky loving friends have said about Ardbeg 10
Quote 1 “We can’t say which I prefer. We’re alternatively in the mood for either. And we can’t say that either is objectively better. Still, the essence of Ardbeg is control over chaos, an impressive feat considering the wild force of nature that peat becomes in the glass. “
Quote 2 “Ardbeg is both masterfully constrained and wildly flavorful, the kind of whisky that makes you realize why people like smoky flavors in scotch. Meanwhile, also reminds you that the Scots have been perfecting this style for hundreds of years. “
Quote 3 “If you haven’t had Ardbeg 10, there’s really no point in reading about it. You must experience it to complete your training, young padawan. If you aren’t sure you like peat, though, consider just buying a glass, neat, first. If you find you like peat, you cannot go wrong by owning a bottle. “