Ardbeg is like the original distillery in modern times to become a bit of a cult. Built from the ashes of years of mismanagement and neglect it has become a premium well organised brand under the careful steering of LVMH. In these pages I have tended to just talk about the shiny new annual releases which is a failing on my part. They generate good amounts of traffic for sure around release time but once the initial interest has died down either buying one is too expensive or not worth the hassle depending on the hype.
Recently though, I started the process of getting to grips with the core range. The bottles you can get almost anywhere year in year out which started with the newest NAS addition Ardbeg An Oa
For our second Ardbeg in the series lets look at the only age stated bottle you will probably be able to afford. The ever reliable and available Ardbeg Ten Year Old.
The big selling point of Ardbeg from the start of the new branding was the levels of quality. No colouring and no filtering as standard across the product range with high alcohol strength with our 10 year old being 46% ABV. This is the bottle which dictates the house style of Ardbeg with simple clean ex-bourbon maturation with lots of peaty content and punch. These bottles though don’t come cheap but are available for between £40 and £45.
Colour – lightly golden
Nose – meaty punchy smoke and peat. Balanced with vanilla extract and saline spray.
Palate – wonderful thick texture with sweet touches of caramel on top of the islay peat. No heat or chilli here though just peat peat and peat.
Finish – As you will expect the smoke goes on forever and a day
Always a treat to go back to Ardbeg 10. It is so easy to get caught up in the new and shiny and move away from the original classics. When I come back I always wonder why I don’t do this more often.