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Ardbeg Ar10 (2001/2018, Elements of Islay, 52,4%)

Last Saturday, punctual as a fiscal deadline, was the Ardbeg Day: a great tropical (?) party in order to celebrate the most furious peated malt from Islay. In the next few days, we’re going to remove pineapple slices from our hair and we’re going to review Ardbeg Drum, the latest release finished in rum barrels. Meanwhile, we celebrate the distillery our way: here we are with Ardbeg Ar10, bottled by Speciality Drinks for the nice Elements of Islay series. This is a blend of two ex-bourbon first fill barrels, distilled in 2001 and bottled in 2018. Thanks to Marco Callegari for the sample.

N: this is a real Ardbeg, that smells like teen Ardbeg. Nevertheless, the first
notes are rather unique: talcum powder and lime… The peatiness isn’t as smoky as usual, but it’s very… peated! and pungent, too. There’s a persistent vegetal
sensation, someone dares to suggest mezcal, some others mentions lettuce… A balsamic air of pine trees and eucalyptus. The casks provide a vanilla creaminess. The seaworthiness is restrained, but present: oysters. Excellent.

P: delicious, very sweet and well balanced. Zucchetti says “salty peanuts” and he sounds persuasive. It’s creamy again, with vanilla and salted butter. The peat is definetely more smoky now. Still citrusy, focused on lime. A sugary, balsamic aftertaste, with licorice.

F: long, persistent and extremely maritime: oysters again.

91/100. A clean, sharp and perfect Ardbeg. Outstanding and gorgeous, congratulations, needless to say more. We just point out that Ardbeg spirit is capable of doing wonders if (spoiler alert!) is not matured in random casks to making it extra sweet and crowd-pleasey.

Sottofondo musicale consigliato: The Chats – Smoko.

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