For peat-lovers, Ardbeg 10yo is probably the highest-quality 'entry-level' single malt on the market, and the distillery many Islay connoisseurs would choose as their favourite. A whirlwind of peat and complex malty flavours, this is an exuberant, in-your-face whisky to be cherished. Whisky Bible Awards 2012: Best Single Malt Scotch of the Year, 10 Years and Under
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CountryScotlandRegionIslayBottlerDistillery BottlingAge10 Year OldChill FilteredNo
N: Sweet peat, coal, Caramac bars, a faint floral soapy note, pepper and chilli. You know you're in for a treat.
P: Very soft, mellow entry, then the spices and peat come through in a big way. Powerful, but with a balancing sweetness. Great length.
F: Long and warming, with the smoke and pepper lasting longest.
Comment: It's easy to see why this is so popular - spicy, sweet, and above all smoky. A great dram, well-balanced and with a lot going on.
Producer's Tasting Notes
Nose: Exceptional balance and depth. At full strength, the aroma is a seductive mix of toffee and chocolate sweetness, cinnamon spice and medicinal phenols. Fresh citrus and floral notes of white wine are evident as are melon, pear drops, general creaminess, fresh phenolic aroma of seaspray (iodine) and smoked fish. Hickory and coffee emerge later as the most volatile top notes fade.
Taste: 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 firstly lightly spiced (astringent), then chewing, mouthwatering, full and finally dry.
Finish: Long and smoky. A smoky sweetness is left on the palate, with a crushed peat and sweet malted cereal character.
Customer Reviews: (87 reviews)
Just finished my first bottle of this, by far the best dram I've tried to date! The combination of peat and late sweetness is just brilliant. Try it with a little piece of dark chocolate - a marriage made in heaven. Loved it so much I've straight away ordered a bottle of Uigeadail and Corryvreckan (Ardbeg convert already)!
- Derek - March 13, 3rd March
Tried this one for the first time last night and almost cried. Lately I have been enjoying Glenmorangie, but this was so completely overwhelming I almost wanted to be sick. The smokey peatiness so intense it flooded my sinuses and bought tears to my eyes, I continued to persevere with it neat. Part of me is very determined to try again, more so after reading these reviews, how best may I do this without putting myself off completely?
- dallas, 2nd February
I've gotten through a lot of diferent whiskeys in my time and I like them all :) well done the scots, the Welsh, the Irish. :))
- Roy , 30th Dec '13
Just had my first dram. Fantastic. Appearance: light straw color. Beautiful lacing on the glass. Nose: strong peaty smoke. Palate: sweat smoke, light/delicate mouth feel. Finish: peppery, finishes exceptionally clean. 90 points on my totally unofficial score. Going to pick up some soon.
- josh , 16th Jun '13
I'm new to drinking whiskey and after trying it neat, it made the back of my tongue numb, probably I can see why people would like this but definitely put some ice or water in this one unless you like peat. Not my favourite though
- anonymous, 21st Apr '13
Great whisky, deep and powerful with a long smoky finish. If you enjoy the peaty Islay style you will love Ardbeg, if not, you might hate it. We all have different tastes but I feel sorry for people who don't like peat because they are missing out on some of the best whiskies out there. I happen to love it and Ardbeg is unquestionably amongst the best.
- The Colonel, 18th Apr '13
Not for babies; this is the Real Deal. I took a bottle of Isley back to a dealer in NYC thirty years ago; I told the man it tasted like shit, like McDonough's boot had fallen in the vat. Well, the man told me to get our of his store. A year later, after I had done some research (sipping and reading) I went back to tell him how sorry I was. This is a Real Man's Whiskey
- Frank Finnegan, USA, 16th Jan '13
Excellent 10 year old malt. Big smoke an peat. Take it like a man. Take it neat. A single malt to chew on:)
- Stewie Ramone, 15th Jan '13
Anyone who mixes even the most mediocre single malt with iron brew has got to be insane! Really odd thing to do in my opinion especially if you pay good money for a quality malt as I'm sure ardbeg 10 is. Haven't even sampled ardbeg 10 yet but have had most of the other great islay malts including laphroaig QC. Will hopefully be getting a bottle of this stuff soon but won't be tainting it with anything like irn bru; maybe just a few drops of water and that's it!
- Adam, 15th Jan '13
I thought I really would like this one after all the reviews but it just did not mix at all well with my Irn Bru. Never mind I will put it down to experience and try to find a better malt.
- Harold Mellings, 10th Jan '13
I find that served 'neat' is not ideal for this great dram. Try half a teaspoon of water to a single or double. The water will bring forth a great complexity of flavors that are lost at 46abv.
- Jason's Scotch Whisky Reviews, 23rd Oct '12
It's OK,but I wouldn't call it the best single malt.Would buy a Laphroaig 10yo cask strength instead.
- Szarik, 12th Oct '12
For those not used to Islay malts it is an aquired taste. Once you have aquired the taste just like blue stilton cheese you go back for more again and again.I look forward to this after a hard day working in the garden, and best on a cold night.
- Johnny Norfolk, 29th Sep '12
I had never had Islay whiskey or even knew Smoke(Peat). 70 bucks down, I poured a dram. Almost cried, the worst smell, taste ever. Is this how it's meant to taste. Then, yes, Then, something happened,I was still thinking about the taste, smell, OMG, I had to get home to try again. Ardbeg 10, Laphroaig 1/4, Lagavulin 16,nothing better at this price. Directions:- 1st (2/3) neat, last (1/3) add teaspoon water, something magic will happen, trust me.
- Tonethabone, 8th Sep '12
Exellent stuff, peaty, smoky, bit sweet. I love it!
- CasinoXXX, 1st Jul '12
@Craig, This is exactly what you should be getting from this Whisky. This is Ardbeg's flagship malt, and serves as an introduction to their style of Whisky. This really is a peaty monster, and can be quite difficult to get to grips with if you are unfamiliar with the peaty side of whisky.
- TWE Admin, 28th Jun '12
I swear I must have a bad batch ... I got mine as a gift ... The color is very pale almost clear, the smell made me pull my head back, and it burned going down, I can't see how anyone could like it if this is how it's supposed to taste, is it the peat? ... I'm used to Macallan, Oban and the generics like Glenlivet or Glenfiddich ... can it be that much different or might mine really be bad????
- Craig, 28th Jun '12
What a monster of a whisky! It's a challenge but it rewards those that take the risk and pays back with extreme amounts of reward. You really do wake up the next morning still smelling smoke its fantastic. Its amazing that you can continue to enjoy this whisky well into the following day. Truely unique. Its surrounds you and penetrates you, its like The Force. My favorite whisky to date.
- Jason, 16th May '12
I miss my first two drams, which enveloped my mouth with rolling waves of peat and smokiness. I was disappointed that the peatiness seemed to fade once minimal oxidisation took place. There's still a lot to marvel at; it's a tremendously full flavoured and remarkable whisky.
- anonymous, 15th May '12
It's the the day after my first dram. I can still taste it