McGregor Recommends: Ardbeg 10
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
McGregor Recommends is a blog series of single malt whisky recommendations from James McGregor. James has owned The Royal McGregor for more than 15 years. He has a passion for single malt whisky and sharing his favourite malts with customers.
James has hosted whisky tastings at The Royal McGregor as well as various venues around Edinburgh for several years.
To kick start 2019, we are launching “McGregor Recommends”, a monthly series where I review and recommend the best single malt whiskies on the market.
This month, I’m reviewing my all-time favourite malt; Ardbeg 10.
There’s something special about Islay malts. They’re full of delicious peat, coastal air and they somehow manage to capture a taste of the land.
The Ardbeg Distillery, on the Kildalton Coast of Islay, has been around for more than 200 years.
It’s an institution in the Islay whisky region; the distillery is known for producing malts that have typical Islay features like peat and sea salt without having them overpower the malt.
This makes them ideal malts to try if you are new to Islay whiskies, but want to make a slow transition into enjoying their amazing, complex features.
Let’s get tasting.
Appearance: The malt is light in colour, almost straw-like and golden.
Legs: Thin to medium legs when you swirl the dram.
Nose: You’re hit with peat smoke right off the bat. But once it subsides, you’ll get a hints of vanilla, peanuts, grass clippings and perhaps butter, before being washed with smoke again.
Palate: Here’s where the magic happens. You’ll taste the vanilla that is expertly counterbalanced between Ardbeg’s unmistakable peat and a hint of lemon/lime citrus.
Finish: Unforgettable. Think sea salted caramel and vanilla over an open bonfire on the beach. Islay at its finest.
Special Mentions: Named World Whisky of The Year in 2008.
Related Malts: Uigeadail and Corryvreckan accompany the 10 year old in Ardbeg’s “Ultimate Range”.
Why you should try it!
If you’re wanting an Islay whisky for your home bar that isn’t too offensive, this is the malt for you.
But because the malt manages to stay complex without being unreachable, it’s a perfect dram for both Islay newbies and those more experienced in peated malts.
A consistent bottling for any connoisseur.