Ardbeg 10 Single Malt Scotch - Drink of the Week
Smoke "Peatiness" 9.2
Minerality 8.8
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

While the beer flows like wine in Aspen, at the Ardbeg distillery in Scotland, the Scotch flows like the water of life.  The single malt fairies have blessed the craftsmen of Ardbeg with the skill to blend together the brilliant and potent elements of the rustic Islay region together into a well-balanced unique dram. Perched on the banks of the rocky southern island, Ardbeg 10 is a beautiful example of how elegance can be forged from the simplest ingredients.

Aromas of their signature smoke from the roasted barley crashes together with the minerality imparted by the crisp clean water and dense soil. For “Peat Heads” who crave the campfire experience with every sip, Ardbeg 10 is a staple in the repertoire in your Scotch cabinet, but for some it might take a little push into the unknown . Just as the famed Highland distilleries  are known for their smooth, often sweeter palates, Islay ‘s Ardbeg is renowned for the punch of peat riddled smoke that jumps out of the glass and assaults your senses.

As one of the few distilleries that pride themselves on not using the process of chill filtering, Ardbeg 10 is the culmination of the complete distilling process. By opting not to chill filter, the golden hue has touches of haze in it, showcasing the time spent in the charred barrels and the lingering effects of the peat-roasted barely.

With a strong popularity comes a diehard following. Although Ardbeg has been brought back from the dead several times since its first production in 1815, the Scotch community supports what they love, and with fun games and contests to keep you coming back for more, I can see why.

IMG_4296  IMG_4295 2  IMG_4314  

Ardbeg 10 Single Malt Scotch Review Breakdown

  • ardbeg-10-year-reviewProof: 92 (46% ABV) (It’ll put hair in places you may not want)
  • Age: 10 years
  • Appearance: Golden with a slight haze
  • Aroma: Bonfire, Fresh Ocean, Salty Citrus & Damp Earth
  • Taste: Sweet Smoke, Salt Water, Spiced Vanilla, Leather & Oak
  • Region: Islay, Scotland UK
  • Price: $59.99 ($USD)

While the smoke is the most prominent star of the description, it wouldn’t be a balanced dram without the supporting cast of citrus spices, sweet vanilla bean and salted caramel. The sweetness balances out the smoke letting both elements shine together, to form one amazing flavor profile.

As well-known cinematic wizards, small, surprisingly agile green Jedi and brooding groomers of super heroes have said; there can be no light without the dark. In this case, no peat without the sweet. The reason Ardbeg 10 has become a showcased single malt in bars and home cabinets is how the two combating sides join forces in the glass.

There is a reason Jim Murray gave the Ardbeg 10 the Best expression for a Single Malt Ten Years Old, and the title of 2008 Single Malt of the Year award. Without selling your first-born, or making a deal with a certain horned, fiddle-playing fellow, you won’t find a better expression of balance for the price.

While smoky single malts might not be the first ingredient that springs to mind when you’re hankering for a cocktail, many hipster mixologists would beg to differ. Chilled Magazine recently held a competition showcasing Ardbeg as the main ingredient. While the entries spanned the gamut of palate pleasing styles, one stood a step above the rest.


Summer Sunday Cocktail by Chris Elford


Chris Elford’s Summer Sunday Cocktail took the Grand Prize trip to the Ardbeg Distillery, where I am assuming there were a few drams consumed in celebration.


  • 1/4 oz. Fresh Ginger Syrup (1:1 Ginger juice: White sugar)
  • 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Passionfruit (Available at most Latin markets)
  • 1/2 oz. Honey Syrup (1:1 Clover honey: Water)
  • 1 oz. Ardbeg Ten Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 1 oz. El Dorado 5 Year Rum
  • 1 oz. Spicy Ginger Beer
  • Cucumber wheel for garnish

Directions: Chill Collins Glass. Combine all ingredients in mixing tin except ginger beer and cucumber wheel and shake vigorously until frigid. Double-strain over ice in a collins cube and top with ginger beer, dragging a spoon up the wall of the glass to uniformly combine. Garnish with cucumber wheel on a cocktail pick for color and vegetal aromatics.

Buy Now: $59.99

About The Author


Serving nearly a decade in the Wine & Spirits industry in roles ranging from floor sales to head of internet marketing, Ryan’s love for the craft behind the spirit took root. Using his love of writing to justify delving into tall frosty pints of hoppy IPAs, smoky drams of Scotch and glasses of complex wine, exploring the passion behind the bottle is the true excitement. In between chasing his two kids and keeping his wife’s champagne glass full, he finds time to sit down and pluck out his adjective-laden ramblings to pay for his vices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.