Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Spirit Name:
Ardbeg 10 Year Old
3, medal, silver icon

Islay, Scotland
Medium, with a sudden thump of peat
Best served:
The soft caress of sweet peat is soon transformed into a smashing wave of burning dry peat that carries a salty mineral rich spray and medicinal sting that is counteracted by the youthful glow of the sweet distillate, waxed green apples and crisp lemon as the puff of an over-smoked cigar delivers an ember of ash and tar.
Tasting notes:
From the southern coast of the Isle of Islay comes a whisky that seems as though it is spun from peat laden silk, the Ardbeg 10 Year Old. This whisky is beautifully balanced, and among the finest examples of a peated whisky.
Nose: The gentle aroma of peat is subdued by the tart aroma of tart waxed green apples and sweet tinned pineapple. The smell of wet sand and salty wisps of ocean spray meets the nose and carries the character of the beachside rocks against which it crashes. In the distance is wet tar and dry grass sweltering on a hot summer day and droplets of betadine staining clothing red. This seems very much distillate driven with the sweetness of the distillate counteracting the waves of peat, to provide beautiful balance.
Taste: A soft landing of sweet peat and citrus alongside crushed pear is soon met with a crashing thump of burnt and dry peat with beachside mineral qualities and a medicinal sting of menthol and a fluorescein strip. Within the peat shines a bright distillate that emits a clean and crisp lemon and tart green apple; a lovely sweetness that counteracts the peat and does not rely too heavily on the oak influence.
Finish: The finish remains on the palate as the bitterness of the fluorescein strip and betodine interact with the salty spray of the ocean and the earthy notes of rocky mineral rich sand. The sweet distillate balances this bitterness, saltiness and earthiness beautiful, and just for a moment the taste of a cigar – far too short from over enjoyment – introduces a flash of tar and ash.
This is beautiful complex whisky, and its young age is what makes it special because its distillate counteracts the peat without overreliance on the oak cask.
I am hard pressed to describe any dislikes.
$75 (Aus), £39.95 (UK), ~$50 (US)

2 thoughts on “Ardbeg 10 Year Old

  1. Hi Leon,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Cardhu has had an interesting history and I would like to review the single malt expression (and, if I can, the “pure malt” expression). I am not sure I will be able to review Cardhu any time soon though, because I have a long list of spirits waiting to be reviewed.

    Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!


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