Review No.59. Ardbeg 10 Year Old

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

Score: 3.75

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


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