Well maybe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a again, the Ardbeg ‘Ten’ is an amazing whisky, but unfortunately it gets passed by nowadays mostly due to its highly marketed and collectible siblings. The 10-year-old expression is packed full of flavor, complexity, balance and depth, and for such a “young” whisky, it truly is wonderful.
This is especially unfortunate now, as I have it on great authority that LVMH will grant Dr. Bill Lumsden, Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie, a budget to plan, build and open new malting floors at the Ardbeg Distillery if sales of Ardbeg Ten reach a certain figure. The figure itself is unknown, but it seems that it isn’t too far out of reach.
Ardbeg hasn’t had its own malting floors since the early 1980s. Much like Lagavulin, they currently source their malt from the nearby Port Ellen Maltings. What’s interesting about the old Ardbeg malting floors is that there were no fans in the pagoda-roofed houses, so the trapped peat smoke thoroughly permeated the malt.
Dr. Bill Lumsden and his team love to experiment, and regaining their own malting floors will not only be beneficial to both the distillery and Islay, but it will probably be another extension of how the team can plan and execute further experimentations
So if you love a good peated malt, the next time you’re at the store searching for something new to sip on, grab a bottle of Ardbeg Ten – You won’t be disappointed.