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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