Ardbeg 10 Year old

Ho ho ho . . . Green Giant!

Reviewed by
Connosr member:

Cunundrum

Date:

26th Nov 2015

Reviewer rating:

90

About this score:

The average score for this whisky is 84.

Best price to buy online:

Tasting Notes by Cunundrum

Nose: Telltale Ardbeg smoked peat; old motor oil; vanilla bean; fresh thistle sap; road tar; fried green tomatoes; BBQ potato chips.

Taste: A smoky affair: good quality Ardbeg smoked peat; burning Oregon oak in a wood stove with the dried moss igniting and sizzling through the open stove door. Starts off kinda Caol Ila with hints of a beach bonfire, and then quickly veers off into a distinctly Ardbegian sense landscape that is darker and more transhumanistically industrial.

Finish: More of the same with the smoke lingering longest in a way that is a faint echo of Corry. Smoke, smoke, smoke. This has changed over the past few weeks. It used to finish with a touch more of that signature peatiness.

Well, I'd have to say that this is the best 10 Year I've had from Ardbeg in some time. I was not a fan of the 2014 bottlings. They were a bit "hinky" as they say in Chicagoland.

This one has less of the sea in it than Uigeadail but it is damned good. In a way, it faintly reminds me of Solstice 2nd Ed. on the tail end of the finish.

I would not add any water to this, but it does improve with time in the glass, as one would expect. This 2015 bottling of the 10 is far more peaty than last year's, and "That's just the way I likes it!" Bring on the peat, is what I say. Odds bodkins. You done good, Ardbeg. For a ten, you done gone and did it real proper-like. I'm going back for one or two more o' these.

Word to the wise: aerate or wait. If you find this bottling code, don't expect it to be this good right outa the gates. My bottle took a couple of months to approach where it is now in terms of my rating. When I first opened it, I was not all that impressed.

And, yes, I do rate my whisky with price in mind. So if this bottle had cost the same as Uigeadail, then I would have rated it lower, but considering it cost me just under fifty bucks, its score went up a notch or two.

This green bottle of Ardbeg Ten certainly towers like a giant over last year's releases. Of course, nothing compares to the early 2000's 10er's with their significantly older broth helping to light up the corners. So let's not try to compare anything these days to those good ole days that are long gone now.

Bottling Code: 25/03/2015

Whisky details

Distillery/Brand:

Ardbeg

Bottling:

Region:

Islay

ABV:

46%

Colour:

Sunlight

Comments

Nozinan

Nozinan wrote:

Thought you said you were done with this site... Hard to stay away, isn't it...

26 November 2015 05:18
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

My car got rear-ended by a white trash dim-wit (who turned out not to have insurance), on the same day I got double-teamed on Connosr. So, yes, I was unhappy when I said I would never return to Connosr. This combination of unpleasantness disenchanted my whip-lashed brain.

However, some good friends on the site, who know a tremendous amount about whisky, have encouraged me to give it another shot.

And since the holidays are upon us, that's precisely what I've done after consuming a few delightful shots of the Ardbeg Ten.

I feel festive, nostalgic with this bottle that reminds me of what I used to like so much about the Ardbeg Ten of yesteryear, and I don't have to return to work until Monday. . . not sure the bottle will last that long.

26 November 2015 05:27
Alexsweden

Alexsweden wrote:

I'm glad your back on here, and I enjoyed your review. I have been hearing around the internet that the 2015s from ardbeg are greatly improved in relation to recent years.

myself I had a bad run-in with the ten a couple of weeks ago. Bought one at a bar and all I could taste was sea water and rubber. Not their best work....

26 November 2015 05:39
Alexsweden

Alexsweden wrote:

I'm glad your back on here, and I enjoyed your review. I have been hearing around the internet that the 2015s from ardbeg are greatly improved in relation to recent years.

myself I had a bad run-in with the ten a couple of weeks ago. Bought one at a bar and all I could taste was sea water and rubber. Not their best work....

26 November 2015 05:39
Alexsweden

Alexsweden wrote:

I'm glad your back on here, and I enjoyed your review. I have been hearing around the internet that the 2015s from ardbeg are greatly improved in relation to recent years.

myself I had a bad run-in with the ten a couple of weeks ago. Bought one at a bar and all I could taste was sea water and rubber. Not their best work....

26 November 2015 05:39
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

@Alexsweden, thanks for the compliment about my review. Sounds like you might have run into a 2014 bottling. Many bars stock up during one purchase from a store and will still have 2014's for some time to come.

Anyhow, the profile you describe matches that a 2014 that I tasted about three months ago at Horsebrass Pub. I was not impressed either. Yuck. But still, the buzz it generated was pleasing, which I can't say is true for all whiskies but I won't name names. . . .

I wrote this review to alert folks to the bottling code I disclosed. Trying to help people connect with some good broth.

26 November 2015 06:00
BlueNote

BlueNote wrote:

@Cunundrum. Try and maintain some degree of civility if you are coming back, and save your political and philosophical diatribes for somewhere else, please. This review is a good start.

26 November 2015 06:56
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

@BlueNote: I could say the same for you, and save your bossing for your wife, if you have been able to keep one. You are about as uncivil as they come, boy.

26 November 2015 07:04
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

It didn't take you long to pull out your tape measure, I see. Keep it in your pants pocket and everyone on this site will be a whole lot happier. And if you are the webmaster or some sort of authority here, then YOU ARE THE REASON THIS SITE IS DYING AND PEOPLE ARE JUMPING OFF LIKE RATS ON A SINKING SHIP.

26 November 2015 07:06
Jules

Jules wrote:

Maybe the newer batches are better - the 2013 batch I had, although it improved after a few months of breathing, is not even an 85-point Scotch in my book. The finish is a letdown and the tarry notes dominate too much.

Although it may have smth to do with the fact that I’m not a big fan of the ‘land-locked’, earthy peat whiskies – I much prefer the maritime peat of Laffie’ or Laga’. Strong peat without the salty brine element doesn’t do it for me, really, so I’ll never become an Ardbeg fan…

26 November 2015 09:09
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

Ardbeg is from Islay, like Laffie and Laggie, although lagavulin is on the seaweedy side of Islay. Ardbeg's distillery is right on the sea. This said, I found the 2015 to be less maritime than some of its other tens, but quite good. The 2013s that I have tasted were not as good. The code I listed has my seal of approval. Some sea saltiness mingles with smoke but not in a sea weedy way that rises to one's nose. I tend to like oceanic whiskies so it takes a lot of maritime influence to bear mention in my reviews. Nice to hear from you, @Jules. If you are American, happy Thanksgiving!!

26 November 2015 16:10
NAV26

NAV26 wrote:

@cunundrum, welcome back, nice to have such a positive review of a classic age statement bottling. I have some Ardbeg 10s from 2006 that I found a few years back tucked away in a little family owned boutique in Yaounde. They are quite rich in a transhumanistically industrial sort of way.

26 November 2015 16:16
Nozinan

Nozinan wrote:

@Alexsweden must be three times as happy you're back as I am....

Welcome back. Let's all keep a focus on the purpose of this site. None of us can claim to irritate no one (certainly not I), and different perspectives (on the brown liquid) are always welcome.

26 November 2015 16:51
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

@Nozinan, We were talking about whisky until you changed the subject, just like your annoying friend, BlueJoke did last night. 99 percent of my contributions to this site have been about whisky. As for the one percent, that occurred mostly in response to others like you who protest more than the lady in Hamlet ;)

26 November 2015 16:59
BlueNote

BlueNote wrote:

That didn't take long.

26 November 2015 17:13
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

Is your comment about whisky, BlueToke? If not, then kindly stay out of my review of a whisky and stop changing the subject to yourself, and your imagined gravitas. In other words, crawl back into your troll hole and shut the rock behind you.

26 November 2015 17:24
Nozinan

Nozinan wrote:

@Conundrum

My first comment was a welcome back

My second comment was a (possibly poor) joke at the triple post that was likely not intentional, and then the comment following wasn't actually directed at you (about keeping focus).

So, not that you had requested it, it was meant in support of your return. I felt bad about the way things ended last time.

But if your response to me is going to be hostile, I'm not really interested in engaging in this type of rigmarole once more...

26 November 2015 17:55
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

Your earlier "welcome back" was barbed with other baggage and high/mighty scolding, as is this one. Let's stick with comments about this review, okay? Keep the passive aggressive trolling to a minimum on my reviews, Doc.

26 November 2015 18:09
Pete1969

Pete1969 wrote:

I am now hoping the bottle my mother has bought me for Christmas is from this batch. Would it be rude to ask if I can check and swap it for a gift? :-)

26 November 2015 22:15
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

@Pete1969, If it's legal to do and you live in the US I will send you a sample! Happy thanksgiving!!

27 November 2015 00:03
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

@NAV26 I see you are living in Africa. That does have its advantages when you come across a find as you have described. A stash of 10's from 2006 is fantastic! And, I'm sure you know they probably have some nice old Ardbeg single malt blended in with the 10 year single malt. As you probably know, distilleries used to do that more when they had a shortage of new stock and a surplus of old stock.

Back in the 90's and earlier they even mixed in such fantastical old spirits in blends with grain. Hard to imagine such a practice these days, but it's worth keeping in mind that back then single malt scotch whisky wasn't terribly popular around the world. My drink of choice in the 90's was Springbank 10. Back then the stuff was magical. I can remember one year when it tasted like a 17 or 18 at a really inexpensive price.

Just last year, I found a 2007 Uigeadail and did cartwheels all the way home. I purposefully went to one of the roughest neighborhoods in my city in the hopes of finding an overlooked bottle and that is what I found in behind the newer releases.

The old 2007 bottling had gotten pushed back pretty far on the top shelf. I am 6"2 with long arms and reached back on my tippy toes when I felt the old tattered box that made my heart leap. And, yes, it was just as I had hoped! I have yet to open that historic find. Waiting for a really special occasion. Nice to hear from you, NAV!

27 November 2015 06:42
Pete1969

Pete1969 wrote:

@Cunundrum thanks for the offer but in Lancashire UK. I will let you know the batch when I check it, may be a revisit to store if still on offer. Doghouse here I come.

27 November 2015 07:41
Cunundrum

Cunundrum wrote:

Hope you find it! If not, I've heard good things about other batches in 2015. Serge of Whiskyfun, to name one, has commented on the improvement this year in the Tens and the increased peatiness.

27 November 2015 13:18
Rovaben

Rovaben wrote:

Thanks for the review! I will need a 2015 one. I have a bottle 2014 I opened a year ago in november. I left it for some time and now it does taste incredible! A lot different then a year ago.

29 November 2015 13:01
Nozinan

Nozinan wrote:

Are we going to count down?

30 November 2015 00:31

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