Sometime last year I reviewed the Ardbeg Uigedail (pronounced OOH-ged-ahl), one of the best Single Malt Scotches on the market – and close to $100 per bottle, one of the most expensive. Also, at 54.2% alcohol (108.4 proof), it is not for the faint of heart.
Only compared to the Uigedail can we call the conventional 10-year-old Ardbeg “light, cheap, and simple.” As a standalone it is an excellent Scotch, quite powerful (46% alcohol – 92 proof), and about half the price.
Because of its distinctively peaty flavor, though, characteristic of the Scottish isle of Islay (pronounced “EYE-luh”) from where it hails, I would recommend buying a bottle and trying it out first – with about a teaspoon of water and no ice (or, if in summer weather, no water and one ice cube), and if you like it, consider it the next time you want to buy someone a nice gift.
And if you’re shopping for a Scotch connoisseur, s/he will be thrilled!