Liquid Gold Award - 2014
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible
Insider knowledge: Ardbeg 10 Year Old whisky is named whisky by virtue of the fact it's from Scotland. If distilled in America the spelling would be Ardbeg 10 Year Old whiskey, as opposed to whisky.
Nose: A ridge of vanilla leads to mountain of peat capped with citrus fruits and circled by clouds of sea spray.
Palate: Sweet vanilla counterbalanced with lemon and lime followed by that surging Ardbeg smoke that we all know and love.
Finish: Long and glorious; sea salted caramel and beach bonfire smoke.
Overall: Precise balance, big smoke and non-chill filtered. This is why this is such a famous dram.
The finish is absolutely amazing, leaving a subtle, cauchuck like film of a dark chocoalate taste. I normally prefer sweet sherried malts, but I made an - well justified! - exemption for that tipple.
1st October 2009
Yes it may be 'only 10 yo' but make no mistake ths is a Giant of a whisky! It is of course bottlings from the distillations of the previous owners but under the new regime it is good to see no compromise on chill-filtering. Interesting to compare this to the new Renaissance expression!
15th December 2009
Don't get me wrong, a fine whisky indeed. I think when comparing to Islay's Laphroaig ten is the better value. Again, a fine tasting whisky, I have a hard time justifying the extra money when comparing to the Laphroaig.
20th May 2010
nothing more to add than sit back relax and enjoy
16th July 2010
Ardbeg is not for everyone!This is the Man's Single Malt!
8th August 2010
This is my first bottle from Ardbeg. I loved it and look forward to my next bottle. A bit medicinal at times but overall a good choice.
6th September 2010
If you'd like it slightly less sweet with a bit more balance and less Iodine (but just slightly less) this is the Dram for you. Not a fan of the Islay single malts but if you like them peaty with a hint of smoke this one is for you.
18th September 2010
� for � simply THE BEST
9th March 2011
thgere is no going back on this one pound for pound it is simply the best.
Fantastic Islay single malt! Smokey nose, smooth peaty notes, malty sweetness and a finish that is hard to find elsewhere. The balance is perfect and the complexity from the extra ABV is wonderful. I highly recommend it.
23rd April 2011
I truly enjoy this scotch. Peat taste, smokey and smooth taste and is great with many cigars
12th August 2011
Oh so nice I had to have another. Lovely, not to peaty and the smokeyness stayed with me for ages after I had whished it round my mouth.
2nd September 2011
big smoke, a lovely creamy sweetness and some lovely coffee like bitterness on the end. A Lovely entry level Ardbeg malt ( that isn't really a entry level malt at all ;] )
17th September 2011
Typically I'm not an Islay drinker and have very particular tastes when it comes to this region. I'm more of a Speyside or Highlands drinker. However, for me, Ardbeg makes a fine scotch. Very mild peat taste, flavorful smoke with a surprisingly nice medicinal flavor just before a smooth sweet finish. Definitely not bad.
20th September 2011
Am a fan of Islay drams.. just got a bottle of this and i am a believer! It holds an amazing balance between lagavulin and a bowmore or coal ila.. where smoke, sweetness and iodine saltiness are in balance.. it seems to do what the other try to.. really impressed.
30th November 2011
I like my Islay's and this might just become my go to bottle. I enjoy it more than the Laphroaig. I'm not sure I prefer it over Bowmore's Darkest, but it's price and local availability will have me reaching for it first.
23rd December 2011
The Uigeadail is, for me, the king of the Ardbeg castle, but for less than forty quid there is no better whisky than the "house" ten year old. No whisky drinker's collection should be without this whisky.
26th December 2011
I have only recently started to drink and enjoy 'peaty' whiskies and Ardbeg knocks all the others I have tried into a cocked hat. By adding a teaspoon of water releases a wonderfully fragrant mix of vanilla, lemons, sea air, oak, open fires and our good friend peat. compared to other peated whiskies ardbeg 10 has a wonderfully warming slow surge of smokiness. Beautiful!
28th December 2011
19th January 2012
The "slightly hint" of iodine is very overwhelming and leaves a horrible aftertaste. Just think about what iodine smells like and it tastes just as it smells.
16th April 2012
If we were to compare Islay whiskies, I'd put this above its Laphroaig counterpart, but the Lagavulin 16 is a cut above. In an ideal world the Ardbeg would be 5-10 pounds cheaper, but it's still worth the money.
22nd June 2012
Don't be fooled, this little beauty has a lot going for it despite its tender 10 yr age. Lots of complex vanilla, a lovely sweet smoke and grilled oranges make this one of my favourites. Who can argue for £35 for a whisky of such quality, an absolute bargain!
30th July 2012
I am primarily a Speyside/Highlands Scotch drinker but I thought I would give this one a try to see the difference. I tried it pure at first with no dillution and could hardly stand the medicinal taste since it lingered for such a long time. It tatsted like I was sucking on a bandaid or a roll of gauze. I tried it again today with some water and the tastes were different and I welcomed the change. Nice for something different, but I think overall I'll still end up sticking with my Macallan, Glenfarclas, and Glendronach.
1st August 2012
Great quality malt for the price. Much more on offer than other Islays in this price range. Lovely sweet vanilla cutting through the smoke with grilled orange
23rd September 2012
This has to be the best islay whiskey of all and there are some good ones. Just the tool for a cold winter's night.
25th November 2012
What a horrible taste and awful after taste! Most disgusting whiskey I have ever tasted. Poured it down the sink.
6th December 2012
I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I got a sample of this, my taste notes below:
Nose: Medicinal (smells like anti-sceptic cream! Iodine??)
Palate: Smoky peat, salty and iodine flavours prevail. Sweet Vanilla and citrus tang.
Finish: Smoky peat and caramel and salt spray. Smoke flavour lasts a long time after the rest.
After about half a shot with water, left with a mouth that feels and tastes like an ashtray!!!
15th December 2012
I love peaty whiskey and this comes a very close second to my fave laphroaig. Superb
22nd December 2012
Not a connoisseur of Single Malt Whisky's (but I know what I like) I really enjoyed this Birthday gift from my daughter in Australia,I have read all the previous reviews and my amateurish remarks gleaned from those are,loved the sweet vanilla taste on first taste then the smoky,peaty flavour hit me,which was really to my palate and the after taste which lasted lovingly was much to be admired,I hung on for as long as I could before my second sip just to make the tot last longer,where the iodine remarks come from I can't fathom,this beauty is far from medicinal and I for one will be very sad when this bottle is finished (I won't be sharing it with anyone,believe me) and although I don't usually pay out this sort of price on a single malt,I would certainly be tempted to treat myself.Truly Beautiful,thank you Joanne(my daughter) and Ardbeg.
24th December 2012
Really lacks the peaty smoke of its Islay brothers. Very disappointing in that respect, however it is nonetheless a highly drinkable, easy going dram. I wouldn't buy again, instead favouring Laphroig or Lagavulin.
25th December 2012
"Ardbeg 10" was my first delve into the Ardbeg range, and I was not dissapointed. I had previously only found one other peaty malt and stuck to it (my being a creature of habit: I stick to what I like and don't change). But, this Ardbeg 10 was a gift from another Malt man.
The first crack of the cork released a huge peaty blast from within. It was like releasing a peat genie from a bottle. The scent was instant.
I passed some into a glass and left to air for a few seconds. On the nose, this revealed a fire that had just gone out, leaving that wonderful smokey/burnt wood scent.
First sip, and held in the mouth: an instant hit of peat and burnt wood, accompanied by a moist earthy aroma on the back of the throat! Again, a truly pleasant taste!
I am a pipe smoker, and favour the traditional tobaccos of days long ago - like Digger Flake (still available today). As I sit with lit pipe and a glass of Ardbeg 10, the two compliment each other like they were meant to be together.
I am not usually a fan of adding water to my malts, but was curious to see what could be coaxed from this Islay malt. How much range has this whisky got?
An small dash of water added, swirled and mixed, and then tasted. The peaty fire had died down on the pallate, and I was this time greeted with a much more subtle flavour, still retaining the earthiness and wood aromas, still displaying the peat aroma. I did find a warm citrus after-taste at the back of the throat. It was lighter and had a "happier" more relaxed taste with bitter dark chocolate tones.
Upon finishing the first glass, if you breathed in through the nose with mouth closed, closed your eyes, you could still detect the outdoor smells. A peat fire, damp earth after a light rain, fresh leather (like new shoes) and a hint of sea-salt air as if actually standing beside the sea. This malt kept on giving pleasure, long after the glass was dry.
I recommend this malt to anyone who likes a peaty flavour to their whisky. It's not as strong as other peat loaded malts on the market, but to me, Ardbeg 10 has got the balance right on everything.
Enjoy it with NO distractions. No TV, No computer. Turn the lights out and have a few lit tea-light candles glowing on the mantle piece. Add a CD of your favourite easy listening songs and pour your first glass.
Close your eyes and wait....as your tongue transports you to the Western Isles in Scotland, where you will stand on the white sand beach, breath in the sea-salt filled air, smell the fresh cut peat, and feel the warmth of the fire that has been lit to welcome you.
No passport is required - Just a good taste in malt whisky. And with Ardbeg 10, you can travel far - without leaving the comfort of your favourite chair.
Rating: I give this whisky the full 10 points available.
David Gerrard. Banff. Aberdeenshire.
26th December 2012
Loved this product from the first glass and after comparisons with other favorites, (Ardbeg Uigeadail, Lagavulin 16, Laphroiag 10 and quarter cask) it still holds that position. Some of the negative reviews here help to point out that this whisky is not for all is really more indicative of ones general preferences.
Lots of people love this exemplary Islay drink and for very good reason.
Heavenly to savor the smell, taste and lingering fragrances, top of my list.
30th December 2012
WOW... Very different, not expected,the Iodine taste was overwhelming from start to finish, big smoke with iodine, huge disappointment. No second chances here, JW red take me back
1st January 2013
The three Islay distilleries in a row down south all seem an acquired taste when compared to the massive remainder of single malt Scotch whiskies. The best balance is in the Ardbeg 10, and I'm a fan of the Laphroiag cask strength offerings as well. Good to know what you're getting into before you try.
13th January 2013
After all the reviews I really thought I would like this one but what a disappointment! I always take my dram with Irn Bru which I find adds more flavour to a whisky. However I have to say that this did not mix well in fact it tasted quite awful. I'll give this a miss in future and concentrate on the better quality malts
14th January 2013
This guy would,nt know a bottle of whisky if he got hit on the head with one. Just stick to the Sugar and water mate!!
Oh... got carried away there this stuff is just great but would also recommend the ardbeg uigeadail whish is just bliss!
28th January 2013
My favourite malt since I can remember. Oh, and a wee word to the haters... Ardbeg is serious stuff and was never meant for the feint hearted. Do yourself a favour however and come back in a few years when your palette is mature. If you don't taste one of the finest Malt Whiskies on the planet, I'd venture this whisky lark just isn't for you!
14th February 2013
So, so smooth, the taste notes hit at an electrifying pace, yet one can determine each and every one. The toasted marshmallow, is simply divine. Only drink if you can fully appreciate, what can only be described as one of the best malts ever. Ballsy, yet subtle. Simply put..YUM!
23rd February 2013
2 glasses..not pub measures neither.
Talisker, Lagavulin, Laphroig, Bruichladich, tried them all. Ardbeg 10 every time.
24th February 2013
An open fire, a well worn Chesterfield chair, a plate of home made smoked salmon and a glass of Ardbeg 10............ PIG IN S**T!!! Eddie in Bolton!
8th March 2013
Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig 10, Talisker 10, Bruichladdich the Laddie 10, and perhaps next to Lagavulin 16 the best
29th March 2013
Pungent...burn...sharp...finish confusing. Didn't enjoy it. I'll choke it down with its 55€ price tag in Paris. Will not buy again. Lagavulin 16 still at the top of my list. Will try the Uigeadail. I haven't given up on Ardbeg altogether.
3rd April 2013
Having lived away from the UK for a while, people would often ask for a nip of my whisky if I ordered something 'exotic' in my local well stocked bar. Much like the shopping lists that you see on the side of Barried up motors, people like to list their favourites with a show of pride. Germans were no different when it came to ticking boxes, but Ardbeg was always guaranteed to be the one that they swerved when given a free nose above my glass.
Now that i find myself in Norway, I'm pleased that the local Vinmonopolet stocks this as one of their basisutvalg.
Perfect for Friday nights in a cabin after a long day's skiing.
12th April 2013
I like Ardbeg 10, but it seems to be missing some body and finish - but still good. A good malt to try if you're a fan of peat.
4th May 2013
There was such a hype on Ardbeg 10 as the real true character of Islay whiskies. I bought a bottle and could've added a few bucks more for a proper Islay whisky, like Lagavullin. Very disappointed. Too much medicinal / phenol!
I expected a peaty monster, which as it first hits the mouth it delivers, peat and coal by the shovel full, but only for the briefest moment, the sweet malty flavour then comes to the fore, finishing slowly with smoke and sweet malt barley intertwined deliciously, for me a little water makes the peat more complex but at the cost of the sweet malt, so neat every time. Absolutely excellent, I can honestly say I have never enjoyed a whisky more.
6th May 2013
It is refreshing change to see a wide range of views on this topic, but I do feel that there is a degree of inverted snobbery in whisky drinking. Having steeled myself to try it, I was pleasantly surprised at the taste considering what an abysmal odour it presents when the bottle is opened; however, that does not make it something I would rave about. Fortunately, there are many more still to try!
7th May 2013
I LOVE this Scotch! I feel like a woodsmen drinking this GREAT SCOTCH from the ISLAY! Keep it up ARDBEG!!!
12th May 2013
A beautiful smokey peat blast from Islay! Taste like lemony barbecue beef! Keep up the good work ARDBEG!!!!
I love Ardbeg 10yr. After a few one night we discovered our own best way to describe it. Nose: Wafts of old fisherman's wax jacket with hints of burnt peg-leg. Palate: Rich smokey brine and vanilla dipped in iodine. Finish: Lingering peat smoke and developing urge to catch a fish.
It truly is one of the most complex malts going.
23rd May 2013
The 2nd best on the market if you ask me. Here we have the Ardbeg 10, a winner! I could not recommend this one enough.
/Mike Sthlm Sweden
29th May 2013
This has to be one of the worst tasting whisky's ever.. Vile and all I could think of was
Jeyes cleaning fluid... Don't waste your money... Disappointing
10th June 2013
1star is too much
I love different things about all three of the South Islay "peat monsters". The complexity and almost infinite finish of Lagavulin, the medicinal "peat reek" of Laphroaig and with Ardbeg it's the smokiness and taste on the palate that endears it to me. It's so powerful it has to be the last dram of the night, you can't taste anything else after it. This is a beautiful whisky, although for the money I'd argue that Laphroaig 10 cask strength is a better buy, but that's just my opinion and malts are a personal thing. Can't recommend this stuff highly enough.
14th June 2013
Ardbeg's taste is unique, a solid scotch and a personal favourite.
13th July 2013
This is one of the smokiest things I have ever tried. The peat hits your nose as soon as you venture close and a wealth of complex oak and vanilla follow right after. It goes down smooth neat and is definitely a whisky that is to be savoured. Delicious.
18th July 2013
I had an occasion to sample the "10". I am hooked, now if it were only available here in Ukraine I would be more than thrilled, I would throw away the damn vodka still and just drink this.
15th August 2013
A safe buy, you get what you pay for and thats a bottle of fantastic Islay whisky.
Very nice indeed, as good as the Laphroaig 10 yrs.
22nd August 2013
Evidently, huge amounts of peat flavor are added, and then some of the less pleasant components are removed by distillation and aging - so it doesn't taste like the smoke in smoked fish or meat, it's almost unrecognizable as peat smoke at all - but for such a mouthful of - ? - eucalyptus, citrus, resin, i don't know what, but I do like it very much, it's the only Islay whisky I routinely keep in the cabinet (partly too because Lagavulin & Laphroig tends to be priced higher than I'm willing to spend, they're great too in their own ways) - but if you don't like smoke per se, don't shrink from trying this one, it's amazingly full of flavor, yet smooth - you'll hate it or love it -
23rd August 2013
All whiskys have their own character and this is why I love the drink. I am very open minded. I actually tried a whole bottle of Ardbeg 10 and it was far too peaty and smokey for me to the point of overpowering the drink. The colour is very very light for a whisky. Not for me, but don't let me put you off trying this whisky. It was Jim Murrays 2008 best whisky so it must be very good. Would I buy another bottle? No
30th August 2013
If its peat/ smoke you want this has it. To me it was a $20 bottle but I guess I am just not a fan of this type . Had it while trying others ( balvenie, dalmore, j black gold and this this was not for me
31st August 2013
Simply the best Islay whiskey on the planet pound for pound I tried them all... There's no denying the truth!!!
1st September 2013
Unbalanced, overwelming and boring.
I prefer so much the Lagavulin 16.
18th September 2013
Brilliant whisky, well balanced and interesting. The finish is smooth and to die for.
21st September 2013
Don't really see what all the fuss is about to be honest, it is good but I'd rather have a bottle of Caol Ila 12 any day.
6th October 2013
been experiencing the joy of whisky for 32 years & had the good the bad & the ugly ,but this one i just don't get at all.personal taste & favorite for me is heavy on the smoke & peat with a nice smoothness , this however doesn't tick any box for me .i found this out having purchased a whole bottle , so i would advise anyone ,due to its price tag to try a sample bottle of the stuff first.
10th October 2013
Ardbeg continues to be, in my opinion, the finest distillery on the planet. A true success story after battling back from the brink.
I tend to wander away from Ardbeg 10 at times but i am always drawn back. The initial huge peat rush both on the nose and palate is quickly joined by vanilla, a fruity sensation and a beautiful sweetness.
Perfectly balanced and worth every penny and then some.
21st October 2013
Very disappointing. I am a big fan of the smoky Jura, and hoped for an equivalent balance. I find it to be too thin in the front, and too much stale smoke in the back. It is more like a thin reedy cigarette than a lovely mellow peat fire. It certainly is strong, but strong doesn't necessarily mean good. I will actually be pouring this out, which is always a tragedy.
28th October 2013
my husband wanted to try this after seeing a lot of good reviews. it's terrible. he even made me try it to confirm it. way too much smokey peat and oak!! nasty. waste of $52
5th November 2013
Love this! Great straight but add just a teaspoon of water and wait for the magic to happen! Beautiful sweetness on the tip of the tongue, reminiscent of sweat bonfire smoke on a dark winter day infused with vanilla. As it travels over the tongue, more arrival of flavour, the smoke, peat, sweet saltiness that the sides of the tongue pick up. The finish is long, flavours of bitter dark chocolate or espresso coffee. On the nose, smoke, peat, iodine and a faint sweetness of burnt wood. With every sip, I'm transported to a wonderful, mysterious, magical place.
6th November 2013
A superb dram but really it is not for the vast majority of whisky drinkers. It is best appreciated by someone who knows their whiskies and has some degree of skill with tasting and the words to express themselves. It is clear to see from the grammar and comments of some of the reviewers that they really should stick to Lager and Bitter. Please leave the serious comments to educated whisky drinkers such as myself and a select few!
7th November 2013
*sweet* bonfire smoke
I'm new to whisky, having finally discovered my desired taste profile when a neighbor served me a glass of Lagavulin 16. Since then I've been on a tasting journey, trying to discover as much as I can when the opportunities arise. Mostly I'm finding that I just prefer smokey Islays and thus my first purchase was a Bowmore 12, which I enjoyed but found it lacked the smokey peaty punch of the Lagavulin. It was a good introduction to the region nevertheless. My second purchase is the Ardbeg 10 and I'm not all that far into it, but I'm REALLY enjoying this. I've had the chance to contrast it directly to the Lagavulin 16, and though both are sublime, I do think this Ardbeg 10 is my winner. Price isn't the concern as they're both pretty pricey in my area: $92 for Ardbeg, $109 for Lagavulin (Montréal). I'd like to, and will eventually, own both simulataneously but at current time I'm giving the nod to Ardbeg.
So this review is from a total novice, but I'm willing to and wanting to do this right. I'd like to try a few more Islays and then explore some other regions and styles. I like to be thorough, so I feel I can't move on from Islay until I've had at least Laphroaig and Bunnahabain.
22nd November 2013
I'm not adding a star review intentionally because I'm simply too new and haven't tasted enough to really form an opinion. I feel I lack experience to adequately grade this officially, but I wanted to chime in just the same.
And that was a failure, as I somehow clicked a half star on the my added info. Can a moderator or site owner delete the "Adding..." review? Or remove the half star?
Quite a bit of the iodine smell, can be offputting at first, but when having this dram occasionally, it is tolerable. The peat hits you and you imagine yourself eating a forest fire. The smoke, the bbq meat, the fire.
Pretty good stuff, can drink this neat, but not my everyday dram.
26th November 2013
To all amateurs like myself, do not fear the bad reviews for the supposed overpowering nature of this beautiful dram. It is actually more polite than I imagined it would be. Definitely strong and unique in peat and smoke, but not an all-out assault on your taste buds the way a very hoppy IPA (beer) might taste. Maybe my tongue has toned down the extremes from drinking strong beer, but this stuff tasted like leather-menthol sea salt heaven with a little citrus in there for good measure. The nose is stronger than the flavor, I think, so don't let it put you off. Give it a sip and enjoy.
27th November 2013
in your mouth
4th December 2013
Colour is just awful, makes you not want do drink that
Unbalanced taste, all i can get is the smoke
10th December 2013