Featured at World Whisky Day 2014: This is the third Ardbeg reviewed here at Scotchology, and for good reason. It is an Islay, make no mistake. This entry is the base model for their regular offerings, which should not defer any interested in a good drink. Will this younger sibling be able to hold its head up around the Ardbog and Uigeadail?
Age: 10 year
Nose: Smoke, peat, salt,
Palate: Peat, brine, taffy
Comments: Water is not needed, but a few drops won’t hurt.
Adam – Smoke on the water, Ardbeg in my glass. Yeah, I just went there. Their 10 year variety wades a lot farther into smoke than peat, unlike many of their other offerings. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, for the peat and brine that make this whisky so distinct are still present. It is a simple spirit, but serves the few elements it has with gusto. One thing that does surprise me is the finish, which is nowhere near as long or as deep as its older siblings. This is a great Scotch for the age and the price point, and is highly recommended for anyone who likes Islay or the more robust qualities Scotch has to offer.
Kate – I’m an Islay sort of girl and this Scotch has everything I could want. Islay’s are known for their brine and peat flavours derived from their surroundings, bogs and sea. The Ardbeg 10 year has a perfect balance of all of these flavours. There’s peat and smoke on the nose that continues into the palate with the perfect amount of brine added to the mix. The finish lingers with you like a bear hug from a long lost friend. Every time I drink this Scotch, I’m transported to the Scottish coast and I can almost feel the salty wind blowing around me with that chilly bite to it. This is a Scotch that was produced in reaction to it’s surroundings.
Meghan – A classic, simple Scotch. It doesn’t need water but a drip can open up more nuances. The peat gets close to being a bit much for me on the palate but then I’m a Highland lass. It can make a nice starter Scotch and its price point makes it accessible – and not a bad hostess gift! In terms of 10 year olds, I prefer the Tobermory but I wouldn’t turn a glass of this one down.
Henry – More please. For the uninitiated, this is my go-to introduction to Islay single malts. Reasonably priced, and more interesting than the 10-year-old offerings from Ledaig or Laphroaig.