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Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Heavenly surprise!

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@CarlReview by @Carl

6th Nov 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
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My first review in a long time. The palate always surprises: been off whisky for months, particularly Islay smokey, peat flavoured whiskies. Recently, with the advent of autumn, Irish and Scotch whiskies have come back into my world. I started drinking scotch again, with the Johnnie Walker Green, then the Bowmore, which gave me a subtle introduction to Islay malts again. Tonight, I ventured out to my favourite pub for a couple of drinks and dinner. I had a nice Redbreast before I left. At the pub, I noticed they had a bottle of Ardbeg, so I decided to finally give it a try. The nose is particularly smoke and peat, and I thought: "Here I go with the Laphroaig experience again. I shared the nose of the whisky with the waiter, a great fellow who's company I have come to enjoy a lot. His description was "Like and old leather purse." I nosed it again and, yes, the old leather smell came through, along with vast amounts of peat and smoke, at least to me. Then...the first sip, and I was hooked. The smoke and peat rapidly turned into a wonderfully smooth sweetness, with a wonderful, subtle overtone of peat and smoke. Then, the finish: an almost peppery, spicey burn in my mouth, sweet and also dry at the same time. It made me crave more! I had a second double with my meal, and told my friend that I was going to get a bottle after dinner. Which I did, and now I am enjoying in the comfort of home, Sorry to ramble on, but you haven't heard from me in a long time, and I simple cannot say enough about this wonderful stuff. Easily the most interesting whisky I have ever tasted. The big surprise is, that I can keep on drinking it. Most other whiskies, I need to stop at two or three. This is almost a whisky that, if somebody asked me "What would be your dream scotch whisky or single malt?", I would come up with the answer "A blend of super smooth Highland blended with a peatie, smokey Islay." It is not particularly thick and syrupy, and is a very light, straw-like colour, normally the opposite of what I really like. My favourite single malt to this point, has been either the Glendronach 12 year or the Glengoyne 10 year which, I might add, is triple distilled for a wonderful smoothness. If I had taken the Glengoyne and the Laphroaig and blended them myself, the Ardbeg is possibly what I might have hoped to achieve. The big Surprise is that, in fact, it is a lot better than what I could ever have imagined! Cheers, Carl

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tjb commented

Great review. I am a fan of Laphroaig and QC is my favourite expression. This review contributed to me ordering a bottle of the Ardbeg 10YO. It should arrive just before I go on holiday so I have something to look forward to upon my return.

10 years ago 0

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