Nov 05

Ardbeg 10 Year Old Scotch – Review

Ardbeg 10 Year Old ScotchArdbeg 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

92 Proof

Price Point: $50-$60 for 750 ML

Distiller: Ardbeg Distillery Limited

 

Background

I never thought I would enjoy Ardbeg.

My first experience with it was about two years ago.  My father was educating me on Scotch for the first time, starting with Highland malts and progressing to Islay.  Because I did not have any experience with Scotch, the more peaty and smoky the whisky got, the more I was turned off by Scotch.  Talisker was the second-to-last whisky on the flight, and I couldn’t imagine a more repulsive taste.  That was, until I tried Ardbeg.

My first sip of Ardbeg tasted awful.  I immediately told my dad that I would never drink this whisky again.  How wrong I was.

 

Review

To the trained nose, the aroma of Ardbeg is truly wonderful.  It is overpoweringly smoky.  It barely even suggests that it is a whisky.  Even looking at it in your glass, it seems a bit off.  It’s a very light colored Scotch, contrary to what the dark green bottle will lead you to believe.  Ardbeg is opaque, in that even in a shallow glass, you cannot see through it due to it not being chill-filtered.

Ardbeg’s taste is completely unique.  The nose really gives away the taste of this Scotch.  Immediately you will taste the smoke and iodine.  You are truly tasting the crashing waves of the coast of Scotland.  I will warn any Scotch amateurs that Ardbeg is most definitely an acquired taste.  You may want to save this one until you have a bit more experience.

 

Rating & Recommendations

Ardbeg is easily my favorite Islay Scotch.  I rate it an 87 out of 100 because it is an excellent whisky, but not for every day.

Ardbeg is probably too high proof to drink neat.  I recommend drinking this Scotch on the rocks.

I learned a very valuable lesson from Ardbeg.  Just because you don’t enjoy a whisky the first time doesn’t mean you should give up on it.  It could very well become your favorite if you just give it another chance.

 

-Ryan

2 comments

12 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. Hey Ryan, I’m another under-30 (for now), whisky-lover named Ryan from PA. Just stumbled upon your site. Nice stuff! I don’t know if you have any “whisky stones,” but I’ve found that they do a nice job with Ardbeg and Laphroaig in toning down the smoke a little bit while bringing out the creamy vanilla notes. Might be worth trying instead of ice sometime.

      • Ryan on December 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm
        Author
      • Reply

      Thanks for the comment Ryan! Great to meet another blogger from the state of PA. My wife and I have looked into whiskey stones, as they seem like a great idea. Good to hear that they do actually enhance the whiskey rather than just cool it down.

      Just checked out your blog, too. Love your rating system! Will be back for sure.

      -Ryan

  1. […] people today create a lack of demand in the future?  Will I be drinking well whiskey rather than Ardbeg by my mid-life […]

  2. […] Yamazaki is a light whisky, relying heaily on a floral taste.  If you’re looking for a peaty taste, you won’t find it here.  It’s not watered down, as a “light” Scotch with […]

  3. […] the whisky is aged, these Scotches have strong, robust flavors.  Brands from this island include Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Bowmore, and […]

  4. […] couple months back, I wrote a review of Ardbeg 10 Year Old, and shared my first experiences with a Scotch flight.  I was immediately turned off by the more […]

  5. […] with my review of Ardbeg, first impressions aren’t always 100% accurate.  Sometimes you have to give whiskey a couple […]

  6. […] more and more “unique visitors” to my blog searching for increasingly interesting topics (“Ardbeg tastes nasty” is probably my favorite search term to land on my […]

  7. […] you may recall, in one of my first reviews, I mentioned my first experience with Scotch whisky.  I was in my parents’ basement and my […]

  8. […] the sherry influence would extract some of the powerful maritime notes I was familiar with from the 10 Year Old, but it seems they are even more evident in this whisky.  There’s some nice oak in here too […]

  9. […] on the label).  There’s light smoke, but nowhere near the intensity of an Ardbeg or Laphroaig – a completely separate style with no maritime characteristics.  This is a […]

  10. […] – Ardbeg and Laphroaig.  If you’ve read my past reviews, you’ll know that I rank Ardbeg 10 Year Old very high, and Ardbeg Uigeadail is still the undisputed champion of the world; at least to […]

  11. […] Scotches have a heck of a lot to offer.  Pick up a bottle of Ardbeg 10 Year Old, and you’ll get a mouthful of smoke.  Try out a dram of Laphroaig 10 Year Old, and creamy […]

  12. […] first thought upon nosing Port Charlotte is that it seems like it belongs in the Ardbeg family.  There is peat and smoke complemented by the briny, maritime terroir of Islay.  Upon […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.