I picked up a bottle of Ardbeg Ten a few weeks ago before heading over to Broadleaf in Severna Park for a Masonic cigar night. I figured it would be a good time to round out my Islay experience before moving on to darker victual pastures. I’d heard that Ardbeg rivaled Laphroaig, Talisker, and Oban in smokiness, so I was excited to get it open and on the rocks for further analysis.
My initial impression was ‘meh.’ I found Ardbeg’s standard offering coarse and uninteresting. It lacked complexity and personality outside of its blatant smokiness. It was like trying to talk to a horse. It nods it’s head every once in a while, but you really don’t know what it’s responding to.
I shared this bottle with my brothers, so it didn’t last long and I didn’t have to slog through the last painful gulps of wasted time thinking of another bottle.