ARDBEG 10 Year Old, is revered around the world as the peatiest, smokiest, most complex single malt of them all. Yet it does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a whisky of perfect balance. Named World Whisky of the Year in 2008. Ardbeg 10 Years Old is the opening bottling to what Ardbeg terms their Ultimate Range. The releases which follow in this series are Uigeadail and Corryvreckan, neither of which feature age statements. Ardbeg 10 is also the lowest-priced and most widely available Ardbeg bottling today. This peaty dram is bottled at 46% alcohol by volume (92 proof) and is non-chill filtered.
Whereas the Ardbeg name has become synonymous with (or infamous for, depending on how you personally see things) annual limited releases, Ardbeg 10 Years Old stands apart. Within a rotating lineup of bottlings featuring daring finishes and marketing to match, the tried and true 10 has found more sure footing for itself.
Ardbeg Distillery (Scottish Gaelic: Taigh-staile na h-Àirde Bige) is a Scotch whisky distillery in Ardbeg on the south coast of the isle of Islay, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides group of islands. The distillery is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, and produces a heavily peated Islay whisky. The distillery uses malted barley sourced from the maltings in Port Ellen.
The Ardbeg distillery has been producing whisky since 1798, and began commercial production in 1815.Like most Scottish distilleries, for most of its history, its whisky was produced for use in blended whisky, rather than as a single malt. By 1886 the distillery produced 300,000 gallons of whisky per year, and employed 60 workers. Production was halted in 1981, but resumed on a limited basis in 1989 and continued at a low level through late 1996, during the period when Ardbeg was owned by Hiram Walker. In 1997 the distillery was bought and reopened by Glenmorangie plc (subsequently taken over by the French company LVMH on 28 December 2004) with production resuming on 25 June 1997 and full production resuming in 1998. The distillery was reopened by Ed Dodson in 1997 and handed over to Stuart Thomson, who managed it from 1997 to 2006. Michael “Mickey” Heads, an Islay native and former manager at Jura who had worked at Ardbeg years earlier, took over on 12 March 2007.
- COLOUR: Light golden straw in color. Medium-thin legs.
- AROMA: A burst of intense smoky fruit escapes into the atmosphere peat infused with zesty lemon and lime, wrapped in waxy dark chocolate. Savour the aroma of smoked fish and crispy bacon alongside green bell peppers, baked pineapple and pear juice.
- TASTE: 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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