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Ardbeg 10 Year Old

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Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby kiwicrusaders » Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:26 am

I absolutely love this whisky. I am quite sure I don't have the sophistacted tastebuds to actually describe all the taste expolosions going on in the mouth ... but I know what I like and I Love this whisky !

It has a subtle but long lasting sweet burnt caramal taste but mixed with this earthy warmth that just seems to go on forever like a coal fire underground that although the heat isn't overpoweing just goes on and on and never goes out.

I definately preferred this whisky to the Laproeig Quater Cask, which although nice I found a bit too refined ... I find the Lap QC kinda taste more spirity (if that makes sense). Also preferred the Ardbeg to the Belvenie Double Wood which was just too sweet and didn't have that taste that seems to go on forever.

I am not sure if I prefer the Ardbeg to the Lagavulin 16 Year Old ... tough choice for me and think it would depend on my mood (like I said I don't have a sophisticated taste).

Not sure what the next whisky to try should be... any suggestions?: -
- Talisker
- Cao Isla (? Spelling)
- Highland Park 12 or 18
- Bowmore
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Reggaeblues » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:35 pm

Welcome to the club!

My "house" dram for the last 5 years...

Talisker would be my suggestion. the 10 is best to start, the 18 smoother and more subtle, but more expensive...and you seem to like 10 year olds!!!

It's the same strength virtually as the Ardbeg, but is probably more like the Lagavulin than the Ardbeg. Again, another take on the balance between sweet and "earthy" as you put it, tho' :maritime" would be another adjective I would use to describe these...whiffs of sea air and salt. Fresh, lively!

Caol Ila would be closer to the Ardbeg. I've had some great ones, especially one from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Highland Park is another with maritime notes, but probably not as pronounced. the 12 is a nice "easy drinking " dram to me, maybe somewhere between the Lagavulin and the Doublewood. The 18 though, is great. I've enjoyed both bottles I've had. (Only 2 - it's not cheap!)

Bowmore I find variable. I don't like the standard bottlings as much as I do Talisker, though again, there are some great Independent bottlings I've tried.

Enjoy the journey!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:12 pm

Welcome kiwicrusaders.

Ardbeg 10YO also just happens to number amongst my favourites. A wonderful whisky that combines unbridled Islay oomph with tremendous flavour development from start to finish. And like you, I find the Laphroaig Quarter Cask far 'meeker' in comparison - in fact, I've always questioned whether or not the QC finishing robs the spirit of the impact its innate characteristics would otherwise convey. It's still a 'lovely' spirit, mind you.

Alternatives? I'd heartily recommend the following as worthy 'competitors' to the Ardbeg 10YO...

Caol Ila Cask Strength (an amazingly appetizing whisky)
Lagavulin 12YO Cask Strength (clear as a bell Islay pour)
Laphroaig 10YO Cask Strength (for me, at any rate, THE version truest to the spirit of this distillery)

And now (he says in his best Monty Python voice) for something completely different...

Bowmore 1991 Cask Strength Port Matured 16YO (if you can find it in your area) - This one just oozes field berries (mostly raspberries) before offering up good doses of Islay wonderment.

Yes, cask strength is the way to go! :wink:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Ryguy » Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:07 pm

Welcome to the Forums kiwicrusaders, and most importantly, Welcome to the World of Whisky! Ardbeg is absolutely wonderful, as it's one on of my favorites as well. There are other expressions available from Ardbeg, depending on where you live, so be sure to check those out as well.

Ardbeg aside, there are a few other Islay whiskies, that have the same peaty, smokey tastes as well. As Reggaeblues mentioned, Caol Ila at CS would be a great choice, or a Lagavulin. Then try another Laphroaig, other than the QC, maybe the standard 10yo or 10yo CS.

Besides Islay whiskies, there are many other great single malts out there as well. Be sure to give them a chance at some point, maybe at a bar, or with a friend. Have fun! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Ganga » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:05 pm

Welcome kiwi. Always good to have new blood here. :thumbsup:

As for similar island whiskies, Caol Ila is probably the most similar. Cask strength is much better than the standard 43%. I'm not a fan of the Laph QC either. I'd recommend trying either the 10 CS or the 15.

Bowmore is quite different than the south shore Islays. Less peaty, more of a wood smoke with lavendar notes (grapefruit in older expressions).

Talisker is a wonderful whisky. If you need any ideas on where to explore in this distillery check out the Live Tasting notes from this weekend.

Highland Park expressions will reveal to you some of the peat and smoke that you see in Islays but is also on the sweeter side of things but not as sweet as the Balvenie DW.

Enjoy your journey.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:59 pm

In a totally different (though still smoke-laden) vein, you may wish to give Benriach Curiositas and Longrow a taste test. The first has a most atypical peated malt component (sometimes described as being like smoked bacon... I certainly discern 'animal' overtones in this one), while the second leans more to the crisp, coastal, 'pine forest and char' spectrum.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Reggaeblues » Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:57 am

the Longrow CV, my first and so far only Longrow(must get another CV!) is lovely...reminds me of an Ardbeg, but different.

however, i'd still plump for Talisker from your "what's next" list...apart from anything else, it's probably easier to get hold of, being one of the "Classic Malts" brand, and fairly easy to find worldwide.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Rob B » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:26 am

Hi KC,

Like you I am just finding my way through the wonderful world of single malts, and like you, I started at the deep end. For what it is worth (given my novice status), I would suggest you try either a Talisker 10 or a Caol ila 12. I have just finished off bottles of both of them, and they were very enjoyable. I tried a Bowmore recently, unfortunately I can't recall which one, but it was not as enjoyable as the other Islay whiskies you mentioned.

Like you I also did not enjoy the Balvenie DW, it was too light for my newly acquired taste. Perhaps as my palette develops I will come to appreciate this whisky more, but for the time being, bring on the monsters!

For my part I am going to have a go at a HP12 to see how I get on.

Cheers

Rob
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby UUNetBill » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:34 am

kiwicrusaders wrote:Not sure what the next whisky to try should be... any suggestions?: -
- Talisker
- Cao Isla (? Spelling)
- Highland Park 12 or 18
- Bowmore

I think any of these would be a good choice - believe it or not, I've not had the HP 12, but I always keep a bottle of the 18 handy, although the price has jumped lately here in Colorado. I'd be sure to keep an Ardbeg or three handy, and I just recently picked up the Caol Ila 18, which I'm quite attached to now.

The bottom line is to take every chance you have to try new drams and see what tickles your taste buds. Welcome, and enjoy the journey!
:thumbsup:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby vrbin » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:51 pm

...also Bruichladdich has couple of nice peaty expressions. I can recommend 3D 2nd edition "Moine Mhor" (big peat in gaelic), or newly released Bruichladdich Peat...
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby talisker10 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:31 pm

If you like peated whiskies I would suggest trying BenRiach Curiositas 10 yr as well. It's a Speyside, but many Speysides apparently were peated in the 19th century. I posted some tasting notes for this in another post. It is better with a splash of water.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby osiris » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:34 pm

I had this one at a friend of mine and I was sold. Damn what a lovely taste. I really like the peaty taste lasting long in my mouth. Till now this is definitely my favorite! Ok did not taste much single malts ;) but you already said: I know what I like ;)
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby lincoln imp » Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:41 pm

Sorry to be the dissenting voice here but Ardbeg 10 is over hyped and overrated. One of the reasons i held off buying one was because i found it hard to believe all the hype ( ala Jim Murray ). This whisky has a reputation IMHO that it does not deserve. It is almost as if you are held in contempt by some lovers of whisky if you don`t pay homage to everything that is Ardbeg. I honestly believe that some people that are new too whisky almost feel pressurised into saying they like Ardbeg even if they would prefer something else just to be accepted.
I openly admit to only trying a few expressions of Ardbeg and its possible that there may be an expression that i would really like but its not in the same class as some other whiskies that receive much less praise and attention. If thats down to marketing strategy then its been a success.
Ardbeg, Ardbeg blah,blah,blah.
Am i the only person on this forum who thinks it is regarded too highly?
come on ladies and gents someone back me up here, i refuse to believe that i am the only person who has this point of view.
I will now await the torrent of disbelief by all you Ardbeg lovers and prepare myself for the verbal firing squad.
Before anyone has a shot i prefer Lagavulin and Caol Ila and have no problem with peated whisky apart from this one and the much much worse Laphroaig 10 :yuk:
Long live the revolution :wink:
LI
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby The Third Dram » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:46 pm

lincoln imp wrote:Am i the only person on this forum who thinks it is regarded too highly?

While I admittedly do not share your take on Ardbeg, this does not preclude me from accepting the fact that this whisky elicits a wide variety of reactions. (And after all, is there a whisky that doesn't?)

From what little I've gleaned, criticisms center around erratic (jerky?) flavour progression (Jackson sometimes made note of this trait, and perhaps that is why he consistently rated the more readily available versions in the mid to high 80s range, and not higher), shallowness of flavour (such as MacLean has perceived in some of the younger bottlings), the manner in which the peat smoke components do or do not integrate with the malt (a wide variety of viewpoints on this particular facet), the overly robust nature of the whisky (strangely, many who cite this characteristic tend to actually get along well with Lagavulin and Laphroaig) and/or a discerned 'artificial' top-layer of sweetness that precedes the inundation of smoke. And, as expected, the proverbial incidence of bottle variation has also reared its head.

I, like you, look forward to hearing from other naysayers, even if I'll continue to reach for another dram of Ardbeg. :wink:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Reggaeblues » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:17 pm

All I know is, I first tasted A10 around 8 years ago having been a fan of Laga 16 and Laphroaig 10, which I drank when in the mood for something rugged - great in a flask on a long wintry walk.

My first impression of Ardbeg, which was probably the 6th or 7th whisky I tried properly, was "Laphroaig's gentler sister."

I liked it immediately, and my house has never lacked a bottle since. My point is, i had never even HEARD of Jim Murray when I first tasted it!

But it is a mood thing. Sometimes it's the last thing I want - sometimes it's all i want! I've tried about 12 different Ardbegs, mostly OBs, maybe 3 IBs...I even owned a bottle of the 1977 when it was "only" £65, and it remains one of my top 5 most memorable whiskies. I did find Serendipity disappointing after all the JM hype( may have liked it more without!), but in the words of the great American hero Will Rogers:

"I never met an Ardbeg I didn't like!" :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Iain » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:54 pm

lincoln imp wrote:Sorry to be the dissenting voice here but Ardbeg 10 is over hyped and overrated. ...


I'd agree that it's hyped and over-rated, but I still enjoy it.

Is Ardbeg suffering from "Macallan Syndrome"? Macallan was once praised to the heavens by Michael Jackson (and many others) as THE sherried malt, and it had fanatical adherents. It was surely impossible for any whisky to live up that sort of hype, and folks began to turn against it - there were comments that it was one-dimesional, that rival companies were making equally good sherried malts etc. Then came the Fine Oak range, which alienated a lot of trad Macallan fans (shades of Blasda there?).

Maybe there's been a reaction to the exhuberant and sometimes uncritical adoration of the Ardbegians. Especially from people who weren't overly fond of the Ardbeg style in the first place. That's no bad thing.

Meanwhile - Macallan hasn't really suffered. They lost a lot of older fans, but have recruited an army of new drinkers and are selling more Macallan (and at higher prices) than ever before.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:03 pm

Iain wrote:
Is Ardbeg suffering from "Macallan Syndrome"? Macallan was once praised to the heavens by Michael Jackson (and many others) as THE sherried malt, and it had fanatical adherents. It was surely impossible for any whisky to live up that sort of hype, and folks began to turn against it



I think you could have hit the nail on the head Iain , it's part of the British mentality (and i know some others from the rest of the world do it but it seems to be predominantly the British ) to build something up and then knock it down , just look when it comes to the Football/Cricket/Rugby World Cup !
Yeah there's a lot of hype surrounding Ardbeg , wish there wasn't but i definitely think it's a lot better than that other over-hyped , ordinary whisky Springbank LOL!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby mr_fox » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:34 pm

I think it's OK to dislike something which is high quality. You can dislike a flawless pink diamond because it's pink, despite it being the rarest and finest in the world. So you can dislike Ardbegs because you don't like peat, or any other reason, but that doesn't stop them being quality whisky.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Klas » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:50 pm

Ardbeg hasn’t always been this hyped, though. When I first fell in love with Ardbeg you could purchase a 1975-bottle in Sweden for around 40-50 GBP. The 2002 Committee bottle was available for quite some time in the Ardbeg shop before it sold out (and what a whisky it was!)

I don’t want silverware, luxury wooden Pens or white gloves together with my whisky. I have a feeling that when you start marketing whisky together with “antique gold Wax Seal” and “solid silver Beakers with Celtic decoration” in cases of “Finest English Leather” the whisky is no longer for consumption. I like Ardbeg and hope that everything will continue to develop well, but the releases of the Double Barrel and 1965 releases felt a bit awkward.

In any case I have to agree with Reggaeblues
"I never met an Ardbeg I didn't like!"

More Ardbeg please!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby kyorke1 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:47 pm

I really enjoy Ardbeg although it does depend on my mood. Going back to your question kiwicrusaders, if you like Ardbeg 10Yo so much then why not stick to Ardbegs? The Renaissance I think is great. I haven't tried many other whisky's that come close to the distillery character, that includes all Islays.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby triguy42 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:34 am

My first introduction to Islay whisky was Lagavulin 16yr and I hated it. After a few months I loved it and have my top shelf reserved for approximately 45 bottles of different Islay malt vintages. Despite the hype surrounding the latest bottles of Ardbeg 10yr I've found it to consistently (with the expected variation from being the "end of the stock" of older casks) be one of the best single malts on my shelves. "The" best? Maybe not, but it's the malt I turn to for a special treat. I have a bottle of Lagavulin 16yr that is still better, and of course 1977, 1978, an amazing Ledaig 1972, etc. But I have several bottles of 10yr hiding in a cabinet for the decades to come...
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby talisker10 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:21 am

I have never had any other Ardbeg than the 10. IMO, it's very good, but not worth (for me on a limited budget) the extra $15 a bottle over Laphroaig 10, and Laphroaig 10 CS at about $8 less a bottle beats Ardbeg 10. That being said, I agree, despite the hype, it is an awfully good SMW!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby pkt77242 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:34 am

I would suggest trying

Lagavulin 16
Lagavulin 12 CS
Laphroaig 10 CS
Caol Ila 12

They are all good, I hope you enjoy whatever you do get.

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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Megawatt » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:37 am

triguy42 wrote:My first introduction to Islay whisky was Lagavulin 16yr and I hated it. After a few months I loved it and have my top shelf reserved for approximately 45 bottles of different Islay malt vintages. Despite the hype surrounding the latest bottles of Ardbeg 10yr I've found it to consistently (with the expected variation from being the "end of the stock" of older casks) be one of the best single malts on my shelves. "The" best? Maybe not, but it's the malt I turn to for a special treat. I have a bottle of Lagavulin 16yr that is still better, and of course 1977, 1978, an amazing Ledaig 1972, etc. But I have several bottles of 10yr hiding in a cabinet for the decades to come...


Funny, I hated Lagavulin too when I first tried it. I couldn't believe that people would speak so highly of a whisky with such an antiseptic aroma. That was less than a year ago; this Christmas, I asked my wife for the 12 year old cask strength. Trying not to drink it too fast!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby lohssanami » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:14 am

Lincoln Imp, there is nothing wrong with you thinking that Ardbeg is overrated and overhyped, and you are entitled to that opinion. If you don't like it, nobody can say your wrong because it is your opinion after tasting it.

It does seem that Ardbeg has gotten pretty crazy with the prices and hype, but that doesn't deny the fact that I really like it. However, I won't be buying any single casks, gloves or shotguns.

A few months ago, I hyped up Ardbeg 10 to a friend, and he was all ready to try a great whisky, but after tasting it, he said it wasn't for him. I gave him the Uigeadail and Beist, and he didn't like them either. However, he was perfectly happy with a Lagavulin 16 and Caol Ila 12.

Different people, different tastes!

As to the opinion that many people can be pressured into liking something to be accepted, just look at the opposite view. Many folks just like to give an opinion contrary to the crowd just to be different or oppose the establishment. Who knows why lots like Ardbeg? I just know why I like it!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Newbie » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:43 pm

I prefer the QC over the Ardbeg 10yo but the Ardbeg is still a fine whisky! Sometimes expectations can be too high. When I first tried the Ardbeg 10yo the Best Whisky in the World 2008 I have to admit I was underwhelmed! But upon comparison with other peaty whiskies I found that only a few were as good as the Ardbeg! Sometimes you don't know when you have got a good thing!
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby The Third Dram » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:26 pm

Just out of curiosity... Do there happen to be any Ardbeg Committee members here who are considering trying the Supernova (apparently peated to a 100+ppm phenol level)?
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby borgom » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:47 pm

Of your list i'd try Caol Ila 12 and Talisker 10 as they are the closest to Ardbeg.
That said I find Ardbeg to be a gentle whisky and the closest i've found in terms of being gentle and peaty is Bruichladdich 3D3 - try this one if you can.
Otherwise i'd suggest Lagavulin CS or any other Ardbeg.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby kiwicrusaders » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:59 am

I sort of understand what you mean about noy getting it. The first time I tried a Ardbeg 10, it was at a gathering where everyone was raving about another whisky ... can't remember think it might have been a expensive bottle of Johnny Walker. All I could think was, bugger the JW ... give me the Ardbeg ... it was the first whisky I had ever tried (albeit limited trying over the years) that I truly liked.

Following that night started reading up and got in my mind that my next bottle would be the Laphroieg Quarter Cask (which was more expensive) and all I could think was 'yes' it is nice but not as nice as the Ardbeg. I honestly can't put my finger on what it is about the taste, but I just find myself enjoying the lingering taste of the Ardbeg over the Laphroeig. It seems to have a more intense flavour over a longer period, not as refined but having more substance.

It sort of makes me a bit apprehensive now trying other whiskys that may cost a little more that I have heard people rave about ... ending up being dissapointed.

But if you don't try you won't know, and I appreciate all the feedback and advice especially the one saying to never pass up the opportunity to try different bottles).

At this stage I am looking at th Talisker or maybe the Ardbeg Rennaisance and hopefully wont be dissapointed
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby Reggaeblues » Wed Jan 21, 2009 5:06 pm

Kiwi, I'd guess you are "Down Under", but where I am, up here in the land of pommy bastards, we have quite a few pubs that sell Talisker, so if the same is true wherever you are, why not try one without spending on a bottle? Only thing is, remember a new bottle may taste a little different, kinda restrained until it;s been open awhile.

though it's unlikely there's apub anywhere that sells the Renaissance!

I've been in a bout three or four, no more, that sell the Ardbeg 10.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby borgom » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:25 am

For what it's worth Kiwi I think you should go for the Rennaisance first. It's one of my favourites and is also somewhat limited where as the Talisker will always be available and is very different to Ardbeg.
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby lincoln imp » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:12 pm

lohssanami wrote:Lincoln Imp,



As to the opinion that many people can be pressured into liking something to be accepted, just look at the opposite view. Many folks just like to give an opinion contrary to the crowd just to be different or oppose the establishment. Who knows why lots like Ardbeg? I just know why I like it!


Sorry, but i am not one of those people who says something just to be controversial, i just believe Ardbeg has an overblown reputation that to me, beggers belief.
I agree with comments here that its all about personal preference and like i said i may actually like some older expressions if i tried them.
But what do i know i think Highland Park 30 is a great whisky.
:roll:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby lohssanami » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:22 pm

lincoln imp wrote:
lohssanami wrote:Lincoln Imp,



As to the opinion that many people can be pressured into liking something to be accepted, just look at the opposite view. Many folks just like to give an opinion contrary to the crowd just to be different or oppose the establishment. Who knows why lots like Ardbeg? I just know why I like it!


Sorry, but i am not one of those people who says something just to be controversial, i just believe Ardbeg has an overblown reputation that to me, beggers belief.
I agree with comments here that its all about personal preference and like i said i may actually like some older expressions if i tried them.
But what do i know i think Highland Park 30 is a great whisky.
:roll:


No offense meant by my post...I just think that possibility is just as likely as your belief.

As for the Highland Park 30, I agree, it is an incredible whisky, but the Highland Park 12 is just horrible, in my opinion. The older more expensive expressions have made me a big fan, and the few IB's I've tried are great as well.

Cheers!

:roll:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby lincoln imp » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:55 pm

No problem Lohssanami, no offence taken
Cheers
LI :thumbsup:
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Re: Ardbeg 10 Year Old

Postby UUNetBill » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:44 am

I've never tried the HP 12 or 30, but just the 18 (as far as I can recall) and I always try to keep one or two handy - I find it a stellar whisky. But I also like the Ardbeg 10, so what do I know?

:P
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