Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ardbeg, The Ultimate Single Islay Malt Whisky

By Brian Small

I just love Ardbeg whisky and to my mind it is the greatest single malt scotch whisky that ever graced this earth. Of course I don't expect you to simply take my word for it so I'll do my best to show you exactly why Ardbeg comes out on top for me every single time.

When production of Ardbeg whisky ceased in the early 1980s it looked like the Ardbeg distillery had reached the end of its 166 year life, but thankfully a buyer in the shape of Glenmorangie was found for the distillery and the famous Ardbeg brand was back in business by the late 1990s.

I will now explain why I believe Ardbeg has risen to be such a force in the world of single malt scotch whisky.

The fact that many Ardbeg whiskies have an ABV (or Alcohol By Volume) content that is over the minimum 40% has proved to be a real vote winner for many whisky aficianados.

For a whisky that is thought to be the peatiest of all single malts, Ardbeg has a surprisingly smooth flavour. This balance and contrast is one of Ardbeg's enduring legacies.

Some fantastic, charming names were given to the first whiskies to roll off the new production line at the reopened Ardbeg distillery - who could argue with names like Almost There, Very Young and Still Young, not to mention the wonderful Renaissance ten year old whisky.

Other varieties like Uigeadail, Airigh Nam Beist and Blasda all conjure up the mystery of the Scottish Highlands. Creating such a wide selection and giving them such fantastic and inventive names has given Ardbeg a wide appeal and made many Ardbeg bottlings highly collectible.

Of course it takes much more than a name to create a truly great single malt scotch whisky. Let's see what else Ardbeg has got to offer.

Members of the Ardbeg committee will tell you that Ardbeg has a sense of humour. The welcome pack new members receive not only has some invaluable tasting notes but also some drinking songs and some rather quirky and light-hearted rules and regulations to ponder whilst sipping their favourite dram.

I guess I could also tell you which of the Ardbeg varieties is my favourite. But I'm not entirely sure I could single one out. If pushed I'd probably say it was a toss up between the beast and the Ardbeg 25 year old, but don't just take my word for which is the best - have a dram or three for yourself!

About the Author:

No comments: