The first scotch I ever really, truly enjoyed was a peated Scotch. This is not a review of that scotch, this is just a tribute. Or rather this is a review of the Scotch that took its place as my favourite for a short time: Today I will be reviewing Ardbeg 10. It has since been dethroned by it’s successor, the great Oog, which you can check out here , however I still love the 10.
Warning: If you never wondered what a campfire would taste like if you could swallow it whole, then you may not enjoy this Scotch.
Price: $99.95 (CAD) for a 750/700ml, however I picked up this 50ml sample in Scotland for £4
Colour: Pale apple juice. No colouring here (from what I can tell)
Nose: Bacon, sea salt, violets, jerky, peat, peanuts, fresh cut crass, fire, almond extract, sour pear.
When I order this in a restaurant, everyone in the restaurant knows that I’ve ordered a Scotch. Or perhaps that I’m on fire. The smoke takes center stage. When I first asked for the smokiest scotch the store had, they handed me this one… followed by the great Oog. The violets and the almond extract/sour pear pop up in the background, which is a nice contrast.
Taste: Smoke, currants, jerky, tartness, lemon pie, vegetation.
The taste itself is light, with the smoke tripping you up at first, and then leading to the vegetation/lemon pie flavours. If you aren’t ready for an Islay peat bomb, you aren’t going to be ready for this one. Took me awhile to really appreciate it.
Finish: Paprika, smoke, sour candy, cherries, nutmeg, bacon, burnt sugar.
The finish lasts a decent amount of time, and the flavours pop out, again under the smoke that stays throughout. Yet again it takes a long time to fish out the different flavours beneath.
Conclusion: I love smoke, and peat, and most of all, Islay whisky. This is the whisky for me, however there is some room for improvement. The smoke takes a LOT of your attention, and while that’s what I like, it is almost one note. You have to try it a few times to just get those currant and citrus flavours. I’d recommend anyone who likes big, bold smoke to try this, and really to anyone who wants to see what the Islay smoke is all about to try this.
Scotch review #12, Islay review #3, Whisky Network review #18
1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #11