Ardbeg 10 Years

Country: Scotland
Brand: Ardbeg
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Region: Islay
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol: 46%
Tasting Date: 12/12/2011, 28/01/2013 and 17/04/2013

Colour: Sherry (Fino) – White Wine.

Nose: Peat and White Smoke followed by Ashes, Leather, Medicine/Iodine, Tar, Raw Meat, the Harbour and the Sea. Some Sherried Sweetness coming through after the initial Smoke as well as spicy Oak. Some Vanilla and Lemon there as well. Rough but nicely balanced after the initial wafts of Smoke have disappeared. 

Palate: Nice balance again with White Smoke, Dusty Wood, Sherry, Vanilla, Lemon, Ashes, Apple, Spice (Black Pepper) Leather and Medicinal Notes. The bottling at 46% is a big plus. It's not really a very complex dram but it's delicious!

Finish: Long warming finish with nice Smoke, Ashes, Pepper, Salted Fish, Salted Cheese, Menthol and Black Coffee. After 15 minutes or so the  sensation of having smoked a light cigar!

Rating:  88 

Nose 22–Taste 22 – Finish 22– Overall 22

General Remarks: The Ardbeg Distillery is beautifully located on the South Coast of the isle of Islay. Commercial Production started in 1815. Initially most of the spirit was sold to Blenders.The distillery stopped in 1981. From 1989 to 1996 the distillery produced small volumes only. Full production was resumed in 1997 when Glenmorangie (Part of the French LVMH Group) bought the Distillery. From then on the Distillery is enjoying major success, especially with its Single Malts. The Ardbeg 10 was the first to leave the Distillery Non Chill-Filtered. It's one of the few Ardbegs that possesses an Age Statement.

I added a couple of drops of water that revealed some extra Lemon and Fruity tones on the palate. This Single Malt certainly accepts some water but as an Islay fan I prefer mine neat.

Drinking Experience Neat: Very Good

Conclusion: I’m impressed. Very good balance between Smoke, Ashes and Sweetness. If you don’t like smoky whiskies than better stay away from the Arbeg 10 Y. And most other heavily peated Islays for that matter. But if you do like them than this one is a real treat and still not too expensive at around 60 US Dollars. Lovely nose, well balanced on the palate and a pleasing finish. Not at all complex if you think about it. But simply a treat! 

Jan van den Ende                    December 2011, January 2013, April 2013


Conny said...

Ardbeg Ten was one of my first whiskies.

Ardbeg Ten is very nice to drink and it is also very nice to use in food (to get a little smoke taste).

But my 2 favorite Ardbeg's are
the Alligator and the Uigeadail

Jan van den Ende said...

Thanks for your comments Conny. I'm really looking forward to taste the Uigeadail because I' m sure that i will throw the 10 from the Top Spot!

Whiskycuse said...

Hello Jan,

wenn you are going to taste the Uigeadail, you have to attend the bottlecodes on the bottles. The content and taste differ from year to year. The Version from 2012 (L12 .... is written on the bottleglas) is excellent. The Version from 2011 is much more smokier, dryer and not so well balanced. I have tasted different Versions from 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2012, and they really show significant differences.


Jan van den Ende said...

Hi Marcus,

I havent't looked in detail at the bottle yet. Let's hope it's a good one! I think I will review it come Christmas Time. Something to look forward to! Cheers!

Whiskycuse said...

Oh, I am sure it will be a good one, because the batches were different but all on very high quality. It will definetely be a good Christmasdram.

Robert Hoekstra said...

Nice one again, if you can put it next to one from pre-2004, you can find the markings on the bottle, you'll be amazed by the difference. The older versions have more of the Islay character, you can tell when LVMH became the owner because especially the Ardbeg 10 became much sweeter to please a broader audience. I expect this Ardbeg to be a new one because of the sweet sherry notes, check the spraycode on the bottle, if this bottling gets 91 points you'll have a true winner if you can find an older one... Be one the look out at places where you didn't expect to find Ardbeg... Slainte math Jan!!!

Jan van den Ende said...

Hey Robert! Thanks for your reaction. This is a brand new Ardbeg bought 1 month ago at the Duty Free in Sao Paulo by one of my colleagues. He didn't like it and gave it to me. Nice! I will certainly try to get an older one but it won't be easy for me here in Brazil. Cheers mate!