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I tried some Islay whiskies when I first got into malts and I'm not embarrassed to admit I found them a little aggressive on the peat. Whilst Ardbeg wasn't one of them, I mention it because I recently decided to dip my toe back into the Islay waters. I bought this and a bottle of Laphroaig 10 year old (also reviewed) for starters.
The good news is my taste buds have grown up and are now more than ready! To my surprise flavours I may previously have written off as being too full-on revealed themselves in potent and yet somehow subtle layers of complexity.
Ardbeg 10 has the expected hit of smokey peat but this is balanced by a lovely sweetness giving way to a salty finish. The overall combination of flavours is truly delicious, well balanced and rewarding.
I haven't been to Islay but I felt breathing in the wind coming off the sea would feel like this.This whisky has a sense of place.
I love it and I can't wait to delve deeper into the Ardbeg range.