Ardbeg Ten

A light dram but packed with a smokey punch

An intense day deserves an intense dram and the Ardbeg Ten delivers. The nose is smokey and peaty as you’d expect from Ardbeg, but not overly medicinal. I got loads of gunpowder like a spent firework, and smoke from a campfire. When I got through that there was delicate vanilla, oranges and lemons and sea air and it made me sneeze!

I expected a peat bomb on the palate but it’s much more subtle than I expected. Sure, peat is in abundance but the phenols have mellowed in the decade since this was laid down. There’s also a delicate balance of lemon and lime and more vanilla swirling around with the smoke and then chocolate limes. Lovely!

The finish is mighty like a bonfire on the beach! Smokey, briny and magnificent with a delicate suggestion of salted caramel. It’s a long lasting finish too

For many years I avoided Islay malts as my only experience had been a young Laphroaig and I expected them all to be medicinal but I wasted a long time with that belief. I’m now much more open minded and, whilst I’m still not a fan of young heavily pleated drams, happy to try anything

This is a sturdy dram which I’ll return to more than once! Slàinte mhath 🥃

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