Assertive, briny, seaweedy, tar-like. Hint of sulphur.
Sweetish. Cereal grains, oil, gorse. Tightly combined flavours.
Oily. Lemon skins. Freshly-ground white pepper. Very appetising.
Not the most muscular Ardbeg, but still robust.
A gentle, seductive sweet peat leads the way to a complex arrival of malt and vanilla.
Soft and languid at first, brilliant chewy malt and cocoa adds the depth and balance.
There is a delightful level of residual peat which ensures a long finish.
I admit to being a little biased here as I did have a hand in putting this whisky together. But I must say I adore it for its wonderful balance.
Similarily, I find MJ's comments on Uigeadail to be completely different from my experience which makes me wonder if they haven't done some different runs of it. He says it is explosive and fiery but I don't find it that way at all (no water added of course).
Not sure how much they are in your neck of the woods, but here they were priced very well.
Truth is, the casks that went into the vatting for the 17yo releases came from malt that had a lower peating level. As a result, the whisky is not a peat monster, but then this allows other more subtle aspects of the whisky to be appreciated. It's definitely a diversion from the "house style", but that doesn't make it a bad whisky.
As you long as you approach the malt armed with this knowledge, then you should find it a very enjoyable and tasty whisky.
Color: Lemon yellow
Nose: New books, pine resin, fresh pollen, lime zest, wood shavings
Palate: Sweet, rich, smoky, tangy, luscious, malt nectar
Body: Thick mouth feel, then quickly dispersed
Finish: Very long, blustering, mild ending on rubber and tar
Quote: The only bottle I could find and I will savor every ounce. The flavors are strong, yet subtle, but so independent that they just jump out at you. Ardbeg has never let me down and this one will go a long way toward talking me into the 1974 “Provenance”, which would be a good birthday present to myself.
560474 Ardbeg - 10 Year Old GB 750 $72.99
551499 Ardbeg - 17 Year Old GB 750 $111.77
202028 Ardbeg Uigeadail GB 700 $109.95
I'll check and confirm availability ASAP.
I'm a big fan of all three - and would only add that Jim Murray's reviews distinguish between earlier bottlings (rated 92): "Certainly one of the more subtle expressions...though criticised by some for not being peaty enough."
...and present bottlings(rated 90) "the peat has all but vanished and cannot really be compared to the original 17-year old... Peat or not peat, great whisky by any standards."
(Quoted from Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2005)
Granted - Jim was associated with the original 17-year old.
The other distinction is that the bottles of the 17 year old that I have (purchased several years ago) do not state "non-chill filtered" - whereas every other Ardbeg I have makes a point of stating that they are ncf...
None left here in Ontario. Seems I may need to go visit some friends and relatives in BC!
Nose Very soft and complex nose. Sweet, very mild and dry peat. Slightly fruity with hints of banana and citrus. Lots of sweet malt, honey and vanilla and brown sugar. Well balanced hints of leather, tar and oil. Some natural caramel and cacao. Slightly smoky and phenolic.
Taste Very sweet. sweet honey, vanilla, very well balanced sweet malt, barley-sugar. Slightly floral and fruity. Fragile, cristal clear peat is on the back all the way. Reasonebly smoky. Subtle hints of oak and oil. Complex and very soft flavors. Excellent balance between sweet and smoky flavors, with the sweetness at the head.
Finish medium long. Sweet malt at first, then some vanilla and cacao, floral hints and subtle echo of liquerice. Finishing with some oil and burnt rubber in balance with the clean dry peat. Slightly salty at the very end.
Opinion The sweetest Ardbeg? Superb balance with peat and sweet flavors, lots of sweet maltiness. with an excellent smoky, dark oily underground all the way, very complex and much deeper then it seems at first.
Nose Sweet and refined peat. Floral and fragrant at times. Sometimes edgy, grassy and alcoholic. Sweetish with some honey, vanilla and sweet malt. Slightly fruity with peach, banana, appels and melon, however very subtle.Some cacao. Undertone of thin peat, earth and even forest smells. Soft whiff of phenols.
Taste Refined flavor. peaty and smoky, even more so towards the finish. Young oak at the start. oily, chocolate in midd flavor. sweet with sweet malt, vanilla and some fruit. Spicy and dry towards the finish.
Finish Long and full sweet dry peat. Crisp with plenty of liquerice. Nutty with walnuts and hazelnuts. Starts sweet with some sweet malt but ends dry with pronounced young and sometimes bitter oak. There is also the hints of seasalt and sea influences troughout the finish.
Opinion The youth is apparent in the flavor. Full flavored however and quite sweet. Some heavy peat, especially in the finish makes up a lot for the overall opinion. complex and refined. sometimes it seems thin and edgy however. Sweet and yet dry, heavy yet pretty soft. A whisky full of contradictions.
Nose Initially slightly floral and citrusfruit with lemon. Gradually evolving into a soft and subtle nose. After awhile in the glass, and for the love of everything that is holy, take your time because this one keeps changing for more then 30 minutes, the nose becomes beautifully full and warm. Very refined and delicate. Some oil, slightly feinty with motor oil, tar and leather. Soft peat gradually moves to the front where it stays consistently after a while. Sweetish with blossoms, clean dark honey in a layer on top of everything. Slightly fruity with hints of mango and even peach, but ever so gentle. Soft whiff of vanilla hand in hand with soft cocoa merely accentuating the whole. Finally a distinct presence of brine with sea influences troughout the different layers of the nose. This is some impressive bouquet of aroma's! Excellent balance and complexity, sweetish on top, dry and heavy underneath. Endlessly multylayered. Only downside is that it needs alot of time to open and even then the nose is rather light
Taste Complex and well balanced, Coffee at one side, sweet malt and some honey on the other. Hints of cocoa but not as pronounced as the nose suggests. Sweet malt leads the way here with some cake, butter biscuits and then some hints of honey. Undertone of heavy, moody peat, oil and leather and kept toghether by some seaweed and slightly brine. Peat is dry and well balanced, overall very mature scotch. Full body and extremely complex gathering of flavors. Impossible to get to the last layer. Ever.
Finish Medicinal, iodine, seaweed. Dry pronounced peat at the start and it just keeps coming back for a long long time, sometimes just peat, sometimes together with the iodine, other times very smoky. Finish keeps changing every 5 minutes or so, very impressive. Somewhat malty, cereal grains, barley. Mainly dry now and not much is left from the initial sweetness here. Some hints of honey survive the peat and subtle hints of barley-sugar. Hint of walnuts arise at the end. Salty at the very end and a subtle hint of spices arise during the aftertaste, but never enough to put your finger on them. The slightest hint of oak makes its appearance but rather complementing the overall taste. Never once flawed by the oak.
Opinion Sublime whisky. Everything is in there, whatever it is you'r searching for, you will find it inhere. Sweet yet smoky, Incredibly complex and massively multylayered. Soft and stylish. Refined and great. Beware, you'll never get to the bottom of this, so just relax and enjoy...
The Cdn. has soared to $0.85 US (up 5% since July '05 and from $0.62 a couple of years ago) - making the Ardbeg 10 approx. $62 US and the Uigeadail approx. $93.50 US... and ending our chances of competing with Seattle prices (other than a huge advantage on the Lagavulin 12 Cask Strength - at $75 Cdn ~ $64 US)...
Sounds like it would be worth the drive south - if gas wasn't rumoured to be jumping to $2 Cdn/litre (I won't even attempt that conversion)...
These are all three different whiskies. The 17 is sweeter then any other Ardbeg I had, but is subject to mood and what you had before. I emptied a bottle of this and never really appreciated it as I should. It was only on a festival after a couple other drams this one got to me. Ever since that, I have first one or two other drams before reaching for the 17. This seems to help release the peat and sweetness of the 17. As for flavor profiles, the 17 is the sweetest, and less peaty one of the three. It is quite compareble with the '77 though the 77 is way more rounded in flavors, there is more there be it less pronounced then the 17. Short version: the TEN is floral and phenolic, the 17 is sweet and balanced and the 77 is complex and full, and balanced, and smoky, and everything...
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