Ardbeg has a huge following and a lot of respect from critics and this Ardbeg 10 year old has won many awards. Interestingly, Ardbeg is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy who also own Glenmorangie. That’s a good combination to have in your portfolio, both different types of whiskies and big sellers in the single malt market. Dr Bill Lumsden is behind Glenmorangie and I would think that he is also the person behind Ardbeg and both the Glenmorangie 10 and Ardbeg 10 have a reputation for being consistently good quality. It is easy to get hold of Ardbeg 10 year old in the UK and you can also get a miniature version of this if you are unsure. I picked this one up by chance on offer for £20! making this one of the best bargains I have picked up and I doubt I will ever be able to better that.
Whisky: Ardbeg 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46% vol.
Nose: Ash, bonfire, lemon oil, lemon tart, vanilla, grapefruit, varnish, oak, TCP
Taste: Grapefruit, malt, cereal, fizzy sherbet, lemon meringue, oak, brine, ash
Finish: Ash, vanilla and grapefruit
Summary: I need to be in the mood to drink peated whiskies but I found that I was in the mood for Ardbeg more often than I normally would be. This is peated to levels at the upper end of what I can tolerate but the cask influence comes into play to provide much needed delicate sweetness with a tang. The tanginess is reminiscent of sherbet fizzy powder which I use to eat by the bucket load when I was a kid. I wouldn’t describe this whisky as complex, the aromas are replicated in the taste and the sweet and sour elements are easy to pick up. Just because I don’t think it is complex does not mean it isn’t good, the sweet and peat notes work very much to my liking.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com