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Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Great, although not the best Islay

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@squidboy007Review by @squidboy007

8th Mar 2013


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When I first tasted Ardbeg 10 it was with great expectations. I'm a huge fan of Laphroaig and Caol Ila, with both hail from Islay, like Ardbeg. I was correct in assuming Ardbeg 10 would have a similar heavy peat-smoke-fire smell and taste! It was the distinct Islay quality I had come to recognize. But compared to Laphroaig and Caol Ila, it felt noticeably weaker. I sipped a bit of Laphroaig directly after the Ardbeg, and found that indeed the Laphroaig was far more intense. This extra intensity of body may not be to everyone's liking, however! So if you like the Islay peat smoke, but don't really like the punch-you-in-the-face intensity, go with Ardbeg! It's still an amazing scotch, and more intense than most other single malts apart from the other Islays.

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Rigmorole commented

To me, Laphroaig and Ardbeg are more like apples and oranges. I like each of them when I am in the mood. Sometimes I feel drawn to Laphroaig almost like a craving, so I know what you mean. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, I want some. A month ago, I was driving home from work and I just had to get a glass, so I stopped at an Irish pub near my home since I didn't have a bottle at home. Normally, I never stop at a pub on the way home from work. I go home, eat, and usually drink a dram at home. When I go to a pub, it's usually later with friends.

As for Ardbeg, I also feel unaccountable memories of the taste of it, as if I had just drunk some, when I hadn't for days. The memory comes into my head very clearly, especially the "Ugie," but rather than being a craving, it's more like a powerful memory of that distinctive Ugie flavor and feeling of euphoria from a slight "Ugie buzz" that surfaces during moments of exhilaration. I don't feel the drive to go seek out a glass, as I sometimes do with Laphroaig, but I do enjoy the memory that hits me so directly and oddly. With Ardbeg, I've actually wondered if some strange drug is snuck into it. Of course, there isn't, but the thought has crossed my mind.

I've also wondered the same thing about a dinner of sushi, saki, and beer. That combination used to hit me hard once in a while to the point that I felt driven to go eat a sushi dinner. Strange, right? Yes, it's the sort of thing most people don't admit, but, heck, why not?

Nice review, squidboy. I don't get the same cravings/strong memories like that for Caol Ila, Lagavulin, or Bruichladdich. Not sure why. But I do very much like the other Islays, as well.

8 years ago 0

squidboy007 commented

Thanks for the comments, very interesting. I get cravings for scotch, always, but I haven't found a single one that I need to keep having (although I have found that I almost always prefer Islay bottles.) Certainly the Laphroaig flavor is burned into my memory- no pun intended

8 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Just acquired a bottle of Talisker 18. I'm saving it until my bottles of Uigeadail and Peat Monster run dry. I'll let you know how I like it when I open it. I'm also eyeballing a bottle of Galileo for when my open bottles go extinct.

Cheers, squidboy.

8 years ago 0

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