So we just finished a Lagavulin independent bottled double cask. What can beat that? I am a Lagavulin fanboy, after all.
Oh, yeah, I’m also an Ardbeg fanboy. And a huge obvious stereotype whisky drinker.
Thus we have Ardbeg – Ar10 – Elements of Islay up next, yet another of the chemistry themed independent bottled single & double casks that all come from Islay (so far, let’s see if they branch out). What next? Speyside based on biological taxonomic ranks? Because I’m down with that.
Getting back to it, this is a 17-year-old Ardbeg from the early oughts. I’ve had the privilege of reviewing 70s and 90s Ardbegs and make up my mind. It’s time to start working on those years I was finishing university.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Type: 2 Bourbon Barrels
Colour: 7.5Y 9/10
Nose: Salted peanuts, grassy, pineapple, pecan, mint
Nutty, bit of salt, more of the grass I got used to in the 90s Ardbegs. Time gives us some tropical fruit and acid. Water brings out more nuttiness and some spice.
Taste: Caramel, sunflower, pineapple syrup, mint
More grass/seediness that I’ve gotten used to in Ardbeg. Less bombastic, this has mellowed a bit with time. Water brings out a big amount of tropical acidity and more of the aforementioned mint.
Finish: Salted watermelon, musty, saltwater toffee, grapefruit
Wow, that’s some strong watermelon. Somewhat musty, some toffee with more salt, and then some more salt. If I wasn’t posting this on the internet I’d have to explain the amount of salt, however, you can go to just about any fandom these days and find an equal amount. May I suggest the bourbon subreddit?
Conclusion: A fruity, less bombastic Ardbeg. More smoke becoming mint than Peat hitting you in the face. Having this after the Lagavulin was interesting. The Lagavulin was inconsistent and went in an odd direction. This was a lighter Ardbeg.
I know exactly who would enjoy this. Non-Ardbeg fans. It’ll bring them to the yard like it knows an excellent way to make a milkshake, and it’ll charge to show you. This is salty fruit and just a bit of the peat elements.
For me? I wanted something else, and you can see from my Ardbeg reviews what that was (coffee and chocolate people). Oh well, more for others, still a nice dram.
Scotch review #1156, Islay review #307, Whisky review #1780