Monday, December 13, 2010

Review: Ellenstown 10

Ellenstown 10
Price: $55-$65
Strength: 58 %

An independent bottling of Islay whisky at cask strength and not chill-filtered.  The whisky forum consensus is that the secret distillery of origin is Ardbeg, but the host of a tasting where this was offered suggested Caol Ila.  Although the taste profile has some resemblance to Ardbeg with its deep smoke, the peat and smoke overall seem too attenuated to stand on the Ardbeg claim.

Just behind the peat and smoke on the nose lay dry spices: cloves and licorice.  These give the whisky a rather dry flavor, despite the maltiness provided by its youth.  However, the drink feels over-oaked when it comes to the finish, where wood notes dominate and the drink turns slightly bitter.  A good whisky at a good price, but Islay is better represented elsewhere.  85 points (B).

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