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I'm in the midst of building my own blog right now. In doing so, I'm using a lot of old reviews. Going back, I've realized how much my tastes and opinions have changed over the past two years of reviewing. Some of my old reviews are, umm, embarrassing. But since we can't change the old ones here, I think a few re-reviews will be coming down the pipes. Here's a much needed update on the Ten.
This is my fourth bottle of the Ten. I didn't like my first bottle much, but times have changed. I love it now, and it’s one of a handful of whiskies that you’ll always find in my cabinet. One of the best value-for-money offerings from Islay these days.
Nose: Lemon cough drops, pears, brine, sea air, and big, smoky peat. The peat is crisp, clean, and has an industrial tinge to it. Oak isn’t obvious, but it’s in there.
Palate: Light bodied, with a paced arrival. A strong mineral flavour accompanies the industrial peat. Lemon cough drops, tarmac, and menthol.
Finish: It gets sweeter as honey makes an appearance. We move on to camphor, seawater, menthol, minerals, earth, and peat. Faint hints of chocolate, menthol, pine, and metal linger. Medium-long.
It’s time to revise that first impression, this is damn good. Crisp, clean, industrial-style peat is what Ardbeg does best. If you want casual peat fix, I’d take this over most entry-level Islay offerings. Also, this is a good year-round whisky. Big, bold flavours will warm your bones in winter, and a light body with clean flavours will suit you just fine in summer. Big, balanced, and satisfying. Easily a cabinet mainstay.