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Ardbeg 10 Year Old Impressions

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What is it? 

Distillery: Ardbeg, Islay, Scotland
Name: 10 Year Old
Make: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Extra Info: Ardbeg Distillery was founded in 1815 but was closed in 1981. Distilling resumed in 1989 and in 1997 the distillery was purchased by the Glenmorangie Company. The Ardbeg 10 Year Old expression first appeared in the year 2000 and it went on to win 'World Whisky of the Year' in Jim Murray’s 2008 Whisky Bible.

Why did I buy it?

I had tasted this whisky before but it was a while ago, so I wanted to give it another go. Ardbeg has a very loyal following and is often touted as one of the best peaty whiskies. It is a good competitor for the Laphroaig 10 Year Old but unlike the Laphroaig, the Ardbeg 10 Year Old is non-chill filtered and of natural colour.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: Bottled in a traditionally shaped dark green bottle with a black neck and label with white lettering and gold highlights. The Ardbeg 'A' and logo is an iconic trademark and this expression is an equally iconic design that is all class.

Appearance: Pale straw in colour, quite light but it leaves no question that it is naturally coloured. It is also non-chill filtered which means that the maximum amount of aromatic and flavour carrying wood esters are retained within the whisky at the risk of if becoming cloudy if cooled or diluted. Bottled at the tell-tale 46% ABV for non-chill filtered whiskies.

Aroma: Big smoke, kelp, straw, liquorice root.

Flavour: Sweet entry, biting chocolate-coated coffee beans, building smoke, spiciness focussed on at the roof of the mouth.

Finish: Long, lingering tongue-coating smoke, slight warming. Not as bitter as some other peated whiskies.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, this is a classic Islay whisky and one of the peatiest available. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to try a heavily peated whisky and the fact it is natural colour and non-chill filtered are two extra thumbs up.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.

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