Yesterday’s Wee Beastie made us want to taste again the Ardbeg Ten, the
distillery’s flagship: an evergreen bottling from the core range, the classic Ardbeg expression since the distillery re-opening in the late ‘90s. We tasted them during a recent Online Whisky Show tasting, but now it’s time for a more analytical sip…
N: oh Lord, we don’t remember it being so nice! Islay atmosphere spreads from the glass. First of all, a glorious seaworthiness: fish market, seaside, sea breeze.
And then lime and a lot of lemon, evident and not sugar at all. The sweetness – more aside comparing to the Wee Beastie -, it results in icing sugar and a little of marzipan. Pine needles are present here, too. Of course we must mention the peat: definitely acrid and chemical, like plastic and tires burning.
P: the attack is sharper than the 5 yo one, but more comfortable compared to the first nose. Sea water and burnt plastic are the main notes, with a pinch of licorice and vanilla from the cask, even if they’re at “a lower volume”. Indeed, it’s peatier than Wee Beastie, with this chemical and aggressive peat and whiffs of pure licorice. Gorgeous.
F: smoke from burnt plastic, banana and kippers.
Did we mention that is very different from the 5 yo? It is sharp, and the sweetness is playing a minor role. It’s also fishy and smoky, edgy and
untamed. 87/100. One of the best peated entry level on the market. Enough said. And we have a feeling it has even been improving for a few years.
Recommended soundtrack: Ulver – Bring out your Dead.