Ardbeg Taste-Off

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The other day, my man G-Lo, a huge fan of all things smoky, had suggested that we try a little Ardbeg taste-off. He had in his possession a bottle of Ardbeg 10 and a bottle of Ardbeg Corryvreckan. This bottle takes its name from the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool (from the Gaelic Coirebhreacain meaning “cauldron of the speckled seas”) which runs between the islands of Jura and Scarba. It is the 3rd largest whirlpool in the world. Of course, the name of this bottle also proves Esquire Rule No. 706 – The drunker you are; the easier it is to pronounce the name of a Scotch.

We began with the Ardbeg 10 (ABV 46%).

LimpD – apple juicy, like a specimen sample, not as dark as one would expect
G-Lo – yellow straw color

Nose – before water:
LimpD – Band Aids, rubber, and mild smoke
G-Lo – Peppercorns

Nose – after water:
LimpD – sweeter with a hint of caramel
G-Lo – floral notes

Flavor – before water:
LimpD – Listerine & peppercorns but in a good way
G-Lo – spice

Flavor – after water:
LimpD – softens the medicinal notes and brings out the smoke
G-Lo – mellows the flavor and enhances the smokiness but in a good way.

And then on to the Ardbeg Corryvreckan (ABV 57.1%).

LimpD – definitely darker, ginger ale or clover honey
G-Lo – light amber, honey hue

Nose – before water:
LimpD – butterscotch, honey, a hint of cracked pepper
G-Lo – light brown sugar, toffee

Nose – after water:
LimpD – tone down the sweetness
G-Lo – mellows the sweet aroma

Flavor – before water:
LimpD – potent, the extra alcohol burns
G-Lo – at 57.1% ABV, the alcohol is overwhelming, very spicy on the palate

Flavor – after water:
LimpD – softens the sweetness and brings out a cigar finish
G-Lo – mellows the flavor quite a bit.

Overall, we found that the Ardbeg 10 was a better whisky (G-Lo gave it an A, I gave it an A-) than the Corryvreckan (G-Lo – A-; I gave it a B+) but they are both very good whiskies.

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