Ardbeg 10 Ans Islay Scotch Single Malt
Scotch, 750 mL
|Country :||United Kingdom|
|Producer :||Ardbeg Distillery Limited|
|Alcohol :||46 %|
|Grape variety(ies) :||Scotland Other|
|Style :||Bold & Smoky|
|Container :||Coloured Glass Container|
Named World Whisky of the Year in 2008 due to its delicately balanced smoke and fruit character this pours a bright pale gold; aromas of lemon, smoke, peat and brine with a kiss of sweet cereal. On the palate it is hot and smoky with bold flavours that resonate with the aromas and a long sweet and smoky finish.
An initial moderate and clean sweetness is rapidly followed by a mouthful of deep peat notes, with tobacco smoke and strong espresso coffee, which then gives way to treacle sweetness and liquorice. The mouthfeel is first lightly spiced, then chewing, mouthwatering and full, finally drying.
An explosion of crackling peat sets off millions of flavour explosions on the tongue: peat effervesces with tangy lemon and lime juice, black pepper pops with sizzling cinnamon-spiced toffee. This is followed by a wave of brine infused with smooth buttermilk, ripe bananas and currants. Smoke gradually wells up on the palate bringing a mouthful of warm creamy cappuccino and toasted marshmallows. As the taste lengthens and deepens, dry espresso, liquorice root and tarry smoke develop coating the palate with chewy peat oils.
More complex, citrus-led and sophisticated than recent bottlings, with a beautiful sea salt strain. Gentle oils carry a lemon-lime edge, sweetened by barley and a weak solution of golden syrup. The peat is omnipotent, turning up in every crevice and wave, yet never overstepping its boundary. Stunningly clean, the oak leaves no bitter trace, but rather a vanilla and butterscotch edge to the barley. Again the smoke wafts around in a manner unique in the world of whisky when it comes to sheer élan and adroitness. Just close your eyes and enjoy. 97 Points Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2011