This flavorful single malt was called "wonderfully distinctive” by famed whisky writer Michael Jackson, and was named World Whisky of the Year in the 2008 Whisky Bible.
The southernmost of the Inner Hebridean Scottish Isles, the island of Islay (pronounced EYE-lah) is only 240 square miles and home to just over 3,000 inhabitants. Still, the island is one of just five distilling regions in Scotland whose identity is protected by law.
Ardbeg Distillery, which is situated on the southern coast of Islay, was founded in 1815 by the MacDougall family. By 1886, nearly one-third of the population of Islay worked at the distillery and today, it stands as a testament to Scottish heritage and tradition.
Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from malted barley, which is peated to approximately 50 phenol parts per million (in contrast, Leviathan II Whiskey
is peated to 110 phenol ppm, while Octomore 5.1
is peated to 169 phenol ppm). Once the peated barley arrives at the distillery, it is milled and mashed with water sourced from Loch Uigeadail, which is situated approximately 3 miles away from the distillery. Then, the mashed barley is fermented in washbacks made of Oregon pine. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process and thus, create a lighter and more rich whisky. In addition, the wooden washbacks contribute estery, carbolic compounds to the whisky.
Following fermentation, which lasts for 55 hours, the wash is distilled twice, first through a copper-pot wash still and then again through a copper-pot spirit still. The spirit still is equipped with a purifier, which acts as small condenser and causes a portion of the evaporating vapors to be pumped back into the pot and then re-distilled. This purification process, which is rare in the industry, results in whisky that has a signature fresh and malty flavor.
Once the whisky has been distilled, Ardbeg Ten Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is aged for 10 years on the weather-worn isle of Islay. While most whiskies are chill-filtered and reduced to a strength of 80 proof, Ardbeg Ten is non chill-filtered and bottled at 92 proof, thus retaining maximum flavor, body and depth.
Ardbeg Ten has rich aromas of ocean air, taffy and an undeniable peat smoke, which are balanced by softer elements of vanilla and lemon zest on the palate. The finish, which is mildly sweet, is nicely seasoned by malt grains, espresso and chocolate-covered almonds.
Famed whisky writer Michael Jackson called Ardbeg Ten Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, “Wonderfully distinctive.” In 2008, Jim Murray named Ardbeg Ten the World Whisky of the Year in the Whisky Bible
, adding: "If perfection on the palate exists, this is it."
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92 (46% ABV)
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Rich aromas of ocean air, taffy and an undeniable peat smoke, which are balanced by softer elements of vanilla and lemon zest on the palate. The finish, which is mildly sweet, is nicely seasoned by malt grains, espresso and chocolate-covered almonds.