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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Ardbeg Vintage Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting Notes Review

Revered by connoisseurs as a truly extraordinary whisky, Ardbeg Single Islay Malt stands alone as the most delicate and complex of all the Islay malts.  Its strength is that it does not flaunt the peat; rather it gives way to the malt, the natural sweetness of which subtly intrudes and produces the perfect balance.


And balance is the key.  All Islay malts are special, but only Ardbeg has achieved such effortless harmony which sets it apart from the rest.


Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky

10 years old abv46%

Nose:- Exceptional balance and depth.  At full strength, the aroma is a seductive mix of toffee and chocolate sweetness, cinnamon spice and medicinal phenols.  Fresh citrus and floral notes ofwhite wine are evident as are melon, pear drops, general creaminess, fresh phenolic aroma of seaspray (iodine) and smoked fish.  Hickory and coffee emerge later as the most volatile top notesfade.


Taste:- An initial moderate and clean sweetness is rapidly followed by a mouthful of deep peat notes,with tobacco smoke and strong espresso coffee, which then gives way to treacle sweetness and liquorice.

The mouthfeel is firstly lightly spiced (astringent), then chewing, mouthwatering, full and finally dry.


Finish:- Long and smoky.  A smoky sweetness is left on the palate, with a crushed peat and sweet maltedcereal character.


Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky Very Young Ardbeg abv 58.3%


“ Follow the path to 10 Years Old … light in years,but rich in complexity”


Colour:- Delicate gold.


Nose:- Sweet toffee, chocolate, hints of treacle, butterkist popcorn Something gently smoky lurking in the background.


With water, some vanilla, honey and almonds are revealed, along with some gentle spices, particularly cinnamon.


Taste:- The delicious, treacly, charcoal smoke reveals itself fully, with hints of herbs and malt.


Finish:- A long treacle and cloves aftertaste.


Ardbeg Still Young  ABV     56.2%  Single Malt Scotch Whisky

“Follow the path to 10 Years Old… light in years but rich in complexity”


Colour:- Pale gold.


Nose:- Initial pungent aromas of heathery wood smoke, peat and coal tar soap are softened by top notes of pear drops and peaches. Hints of the sea waft through the smoke as iodine and seaweed are detected briefly before being overpowered by an unexpected sweetness of bonbons,caramel toffees, liquorice and fig rolls. Subtle suggestions of herbs are also found in the background.


Further sweet heathery peat smoke is released with the addition of water and again traces of sea salt are present in the smoke. The increased smokiness gives a burnt edge to the toffee found earlier before a burst of fruit emerges with a combination of tart oranges and limes mellowed

with ripe bananas and more pear drops.


Taste:- Powerful and smoky, yet silky and smooth as the peat oils gently coat the inside of the mouth. As the deep earthy smoke subsides a little the sweet/tangy fruitiness found on the nose becomes apparent with pomegranates, ripe honeydew melon and tangy citrus. Again the aromas on the nose come through in the taste as chewy treacle toffees, liquorice and cinnamon balls are found along with hints of vanilla, cocoa and black coffee.


Finish:- Long finish with a lingering smokiness with creamy dark chocolate notes.


Ardbeg Almost There 54.1% ABV Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Colour:-Straw gold.


Nose: Peat bogs and fudge!  An intriguing mix of peat bogs, pine cones and birch tar, interlaced with the sweetness of fudge and caramel toffees and just a tang of salt.  Refreshing menthol and eucalyptus simmer beneath creamy vanilla and chocolate.  


Water softens the nose revealing layers of glycerine soap, honeycomb, waxed lime peel and creamy lemon custard, before the freshness of gooseberries and honeydew melons is discovered.  Floral notes of verbena and violet mingle with spicy black pepper and aniseed balls.  


Taste:- Explosive and mouth filling.  Deliciously sweet and fruity as lemon syrup and orange oils enveloped in aromatic peat smoke coat the palate, before the tang of salt, gooseberry and clementine acidity cuts through the sweetness.   Violet scented sweets and aromatic herbal and menthol notes are discovered, finishing with espresso coffee and dark chocolate.  


Finish:-Long creamy finish with touches of peat oils and bittersweet chocolate, violets and pine nuts.


Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky Lord Of The Isles  46% abv


Colour:- Light gold.


Nose:- Deep, rich and sweet: the sweetness of chocolate, marzipan and cherries surrounds a deep and peaty centre revealing the warmth of leather and a heady oily characteristic.  Beneath the oil, cocoa and a rich maltiness are discovered.


With water, the flavour spectrum is widened as both smoke and salt emerge from the sweet and peaty complexity giving woodsmoke, tarry rope and leather. Later, the delicacy of mandarin fruit is discovered, followed by hints of heather and lavender scent.


Taste:- Powerfully peaty and chewing, with a luscious silky and oily mouthfeel balanced by a mouthwatering effect.  The taste is initially sweet with vanilla and chocolate giving way rapidly to a crescendo of peat and cocoa.


Finish:- Long and dry with chocolate malt and crushed peat resting satisfyingly on the palate.


Ardbeg 10 year old Single Malt Whisky Ardbeg Very Young Single Malt Scotch Whisky Ardbeg Lord of the Isles Single Malt Whisky Ardbeg Distillery History Ardbeg Tasting Notes Ardbeg Distillery History Ardbeg Tasting Notes Ardbeg Malt Whisky Ardbeg Lord of the Isles 25 yo whisky Ardbeg Still Young Malt Whisky BUY WHISKY NOW BUY WHISKY NOW