Scotland > Islay > Scotch and Other Whiskies > Single Malt > Ardbeg
One of Scotland's most beloved whiskies, this 10 year old highlights the distillery's peaty provenance. Although technically the most peated full time production whisky in Scotland, the distilleries stills and spirit-purifier gives this malt a softer edge than might be expected. It has been bottled at 46% without colouring or chill-filtering.
Andrew's Tasting Note
Nose: orange and tangerine with French bakery notes and chewy peated malt; honeyed and fruity, some licorice and candied fennel emerge; then sweet smoke and salted caramel.
Palate: sweet, fruity and very smoky; the chewy peated malt dances with more salted caramel while the more delicate fruit notes are left at the edges of the room to watch; becomes peatier and earthier with the dark spices emerging on the second and third sip; coming in waves it softens and settles down becoming creamier and more fruity.
Finish: long, coating, salty and smoky; the malty notes linger as the palate dries with the fruits and caramel fading first.
Comment: the nose belies and understates the prominence of the peat and salt on the palate; this is a benchmark whisky that never disappoints; now if only we could see the return of an older incarnation!
Distillery's Tasting Note
Nose: A burst of intense smoky fruit escapes into the atmosphere – peat infused with zesty lemon and lime, wrapped in waxy dark chocolate. Bold menthol and black pepper slice through the sweet smoke followed by tarry ropes and graphite. As you dip your nose in further, savour the aroma of smoked fish and crispy bacon alongside green bell peppers, baked pineapple and pear juice.
Palate: An explosion of crackling peat sets off millions of flavour explosions on the tongue: peat effervesces with tangy lemon and lime juice, black pepper pops with sizzling cinnamon-spiced toffee. This is followed by a wave of brine infused with smooth buttermilk, ripe bananas and currants. Smoke gradually wells up on the palate bringing a mouthful of warm creamy cappuccino and toasted marshmallows. As the taste lengthens and deepens, dry espresso, liquorice root and tarry smoke develop coating the palate with chewy peat oils.
Finish: The finish goes on and on – long and smoky with tarry espresso, aniseed, toasted almonds and traces of soft barley and fresh pear.
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