Reviewed by John Fegan on
One of my favourites for a good reason, an incredibly affordable , highly complex and surprisingly accessible whisky. And it’s not Chill-Filtered which I like.
Aroma: An intense peat smoke enveloping sweet citrus
Palate: Peaty and very sweet, tangy lemon with hints of salted caramel
Finish: Extremely long, caramel coffee and tobacco
Ardbeg 10 Non Chill-Filtered
Produced by Ardbeg
Average Price £37
A Typical Islay in the best sense of the world, non chill-filtered, pleasantly peated and Jim Murray’s 2008 World Whisky of the Year. One of the big Islay three Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig, the Ardbeg 10 will quickly win the affections of any peat fan.
Ardbeg 10 Year Old Tasting Notes
This is ten year old Ardbeg, this is what we’re known for, this is our biggest seller the whisky that won best whisky in the world in 2008. Lets pour some. This whisky is made, Ardbeg has the smokiest peat content of all the whiskies we look at about 55ppm (parts per million). So the malt that is used to make this whisky is at 55ppm, now in the glass it’ll be about 18-20 ppm which is about half of what was in the Blasda, the difference in the flavour is going to be quite intense this time.
This is matured in 50% first fill and 50% second fill bourbon casks, since Ardbeg was bought over in 1997 we have that wood policy going, you can see the colour again it’s a sort of light golden colour, much more pronounced on the nose and peat smoke but not overpowering in smoke. Ardbeg has a very fruity lemony, lime nose to it at the front of it so citrus notes there.
The smoke is quite subtle, a lot of this is to do with the way we distil it, on our stills we have a purifier, which as complexity so as well as enough smoke we have a lot of other complex flavours in the whisky. Something that’s also there, we’re making whisky by the seaside so we’ve got this brine-y salty note of sea note to the whisky as well.
This is bottled at 46% ABV so a little bit of taste first before we add water, sweet and salty on the tongue first, explosion of smoke, on the tongue so that peat builds and gets very, very peppery. and at the back its sort of coffee, espresso coffee, tobacco-y notes a really big long intense finish, this will last forever, it’s a really long finish.
Little bit of water, cut this down, it takes it down maybe about four or five percent. So it opens it up a big bit more of that saltiness and fruitiness, it really comes out of the spirit now compared to before on the palate so again that sweetness comes through lots of lemons, limes. That citrus note comes through with a little bit of vanilla, there’s also a bit of aniseed there, it really starts to open it up that little bit of water, and on the finish again it builds slowly. A little bit of pepper on the tongue, and then the coffee, and then the really strong tobacco notes at the back. And again the finish, it goes on for a long time, it will change over time. Give it a few minutes and the taste will change again, try a little sip again it opens and gives you much more flavour so if you can drink this over a 5-10 minute period you can see all the flavour changes and how it changes on the tongue and the palate
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