Quick Review: Ardbeg 10-Year Single Malt Scotch

Whereas many Islay malts present a delightful mix of peat and other tastes, the Ardbag slaps you with smoke, but loses nothing in terms of balance.

The whisky of the year in 2008, the Ardbeg 10-year single malt Scotch whisky makes an art of smokiness. Whereas many Islay malts present a delightful mix of peat and other tastes, the Ardbag slaps you with smoke, but loses nothing in terms of balance. For men who enjoy a whisky that will put hair on their chests, the Ardbeg is up your alley.

Observations: Initial nose of strong smoke. Peat flavor tops the charts as the whisky passes over the tongue. Hints of malt sweetness in the aftertaste, finishing with the suggestion of coffee and cream. The smokiness lingers, but despite the strong top note, the whisky itself drinks smoothly.

Price point in Michigan is in the mid-$40 range (the state sets mandatory minimums).

This is probably a great malt to open up with a few drips of water before enjoying your dram.

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Jason is the principal of Gillikin Consulting, a business-media and ethics consultancy based in Grand Rapids, Mich.