Ardbeg 10 years old single malt whisky: review and tasting notes of a masterpiece
Ardbeg is one of the eight distilleries still present on the island of Islay, in the northwest of Scotland. It’s one of the oldest and famous ones, offering a traditional single malt whisky produced in copper stills, marked by unique peaty suggestions.
Today we will talk about the Ardbeg 10 years single malt Scotch, a symbol (best selling and revered bottle) of the distillery.
It is a full-bodied whisky with plenty of character and peat nuances, sharply characterized by the influence of the sea and its breezes: in this case, like Lagavulin, Talisker, and Laphroaig, we can speak of a well-defined “marine terroir.”
Few are, in fact, the Scotch whiskies so unmistakable recognizable. Indeed, it’s not a dram for palates accustomed to super smooth and fruity whiskeys. However, its peaty appeal is declined with great elegance and naturalness, perfectly fused in a rocky alcoholic thickness.
Ok, it’s very smoky, but this smokiness is not forced or overpowering. It leaves ample room for an incredible and vast aromatic development, vertical, with sweet and spicy tones that caress a steady minerality.
Sure it’s not an immediate single malt or the easiest for “readability,” the first peaty impact can frighten and sound too shady, but give it some time and some time to your noose too. Wait 5 minutes, then let’s drop two tears of water inside the glass and smell it again.
Among the mighty Islay whiskeys, this Ardbeg is one the most complex and hazy, sometimes grumpy, but give it confidence and will offer you poignant beauty.
Ardbeg’s ten years bouquet
It opens up all guns blazing. It shows a strong character with well-shaped, ample, but never overbearing smoky tones. Just wait a bit, and you can smell a garden full of Alpine herbs, seaweed, and the sharp call of the sea. Then spices like coffee, rhubarb, and chocolate. Then come the sweet tones: fruit and flower are hidden under a dark blanket. They emerge timidly but help to create a lively framework.
What does Ardbeg Islay single malt scotch whisky 10 years taste like?
The palate is deliciously salty, warm, punctuated by a peaty pace and well-balanced alcohol. The fruit is like a caress, but then it’s a whirlwind of mineral and smoked flavors that dance on your tongue with great ardor. There is a calibrated hotness, with hints of citrus and brackish shades. Then comes again the darkness of the peat, but leaves the door open for cocoa and coffee memories.
A grand and cheeky sip like a painting by Caravaggio transmits the same ecstasy, with the same play of light and shadow to emphasize all the shapes and flavors. A whisky you should try at least once in your life, even if you do not like peaty whisky.