Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Single Malt Savings: Ardbeg 10yr

This week, the days are getting shorter and shorter. I'm in the mood to wade into a peat bog of a whisky, and luckily the Ardbeg 10yr old is reduced to £37 at Tesco stores.

Ardbeg is one of the most marketable whiskies at the moment, it's very much in vogue having grown in popularity since having been taken over by Glenmorangie plc in the latter half of the nineties.

Since the takeover Ardbeg has been rebranded and there has been a push for quality that has led to awards and plaudits galore. This fortunately coincided with the massive rise in popularity of whisky which Ardbeg have fully taken advantage of with various limited bottlings such as Gallileo, Alligator and Rollercoaster.

Throughout these changes, Ardbeg's main lines have maintained pretty consistent in their style (damn peaty!), and although the distillery's popularity may have peaked a year or two ago, people still appreciate the artisan distilling techniques used such as no-chill filtration and bottling at 46%.

On appearance, much like many other Islay whiskies, the Ardberg 10yr old is very light in colour, pointing to the use of second or third fill casks.

On the nose it's unsurprisingly hefty, with iodine, salt, seawater, some smoked meat with cream, citrus and vanilla coming through. This malt is about one thing and that's peat - if you're not a fan then this probably isn't the amber nectar for you.

On the palate there are spices, ginger, peat, toffee, vanilla and citrus fruits with seawater coming through on the finish. This is a wonderfully balanced whisky full of complexity and a variety of flavour that keeps on giving as you come back for more. Basically, Ardberg is another one of those whiskies that you simply must try if you are a whisky lover.

The Ardbeg 10yr is currently available at Tesco for £37, however this is just an in-store offer. If your local isn't stocking it then visit Master of Malt to pick up a bottle for £35.37.

The photo is by Edemoniada used under the Creative Commons Licence.

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