Ardbeg Ten Years Old is a very
special bottling for the Ardbeg distillery as it is the only non-chill
filtered whisky in the Ardbeg range. Chill filtering isn't a bad thing,
in fact it created real consistency of product when the whisky industry
was a little more 'hap-hazard' than it is today. Ardbeg Ten Years Old
is whisky with none of the goodness taken out and as good as straight
from the cask.
Colour - Light Gold
Aroma - Exceptional balance
and depth. At full strength, the aroma is a beguiling mix of toffee and
chocolate sweetness, cinnamon spice and medicinal phenols. Fresh citrus
and floral notes of white wine are evident, as are melon, pear drops and
a gentle creaminess. There is also a phenolic aroma of seaspray (iodine)
and smoked fish. Hickory and coffee emerge later as the most volatile
top notes fade. With water, the depth of the peat opens up, at once revealing
layers of phenols with gristy peat and leather followed by medicinal phenols
(carbolic soap) and a whiff of wood smoke. However, the sweetness of vanilla
and the fragrance of citrus fruits are never far behind, maintaining the
balance and intrigue.
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 first lightly spiced,
then chewing, mouthwatering and full, finally drying.
Finish - Long and smoky.
A smoky sweetness is left on the palate, with a crushed peat and sweet
malted cereal character.
Chill-filtering is a process widely
used in the malt whisky industry to remove particles from the whisky which
can occasionally appear. The materials removed are in no way harmful and
are entirely natural. Chill-filtering makes the appearance of malt whisky
more stable, however, a certain amount of flavour may be removed during
this process. A malt whisky which has not been chill-filtered retains
maximum flavour and is the purest way to enjoy whisky, apart from sampling
it straight from the cask.