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Ardbeg An Oa vs Ardbeg 10: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Ardbeg An Oa vs Ardbeg 10 in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Ardbeg An Oa

ardbeg-an-oa
NoseHoney, mint, peat smoke
PalateMint, chocolate, smoke, bacon
FinishLong, bacon, smoke, mineral
Alcohol content93 proof (46.6% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toLagavulin 16, Kilchoman

Ardbeg An Oa is a friendlier version of the Ardbeg 10 as the smoke is not as heavy, yet much higher than most Islay Single Malts.

The nose is sweet at first, with hints of honey, followed by mint and smoke.

On the palate, An Oa provides a good mouthfeel as it feels creamy. Flavor hits with pleasant smoke, that gives way to hints of mint and chocolate, along a meaty note that tastes like bacon.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, with more bacon to it, smoke and a mineral note.

This whisky is smooth and quite drinkable despite a big and complex flavor. The finish is smooth and fresh and goes down nicely with no alcohol burn or peppery notes.

Overall, the Ardbeg An Oa is a more rounded and friendly dram than the 10 YO, but very lively and punchy nonetheless.

Is not an entry-level Single Malt to smoky Islay whisky as peat is quite noticeable but makes a great choice for those who want peat in their pour but do not want to get overwhelmed.

There are a few facts worth knowing about An Oa:

  • Ardbeg An Oa, pronounced “an oh,” does not have an age statement, hence we assume that it was aged for at least 3 years.

  • Aging took place in Pedro-Ximenez sherry casks and ex-bourbon barrels and then vatted in a French-oak marrying vat. Pedro Ximénez is perhaps the sweetest wine we can find in the world.

  • SIlver at the 2019 International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Ardbeg 10

ardbeg-10
NoseSmoke, ash, coal, caramel
PalateSmoke, tobacco, caramel, bacon
FinishLong, caramel, smoke
Alcohol content93 proof (46.3% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toPort Charlotte 10, Laphroaig 10

Nose is full of smoke, ash and coal but mellows out into a rich caramel scent as you let it develop in the glass.

On the palate, this malt provides a thick creamy body. Flavor brings a blast of smoke, along notes of tobacco, espresso coffee and a meaty bacon note.

Everything is nicely balanced against caramel notes making it remarkably good.

The finish is long and warming, with smoke, sweet caramel and a dash of black pepper.

Ardbeg 10 is a whisky made for seasoned peat and smoke lovers.

This whisky is complex and delicioussmooth and well-rounded, rich in caramel and smoke, along mineral and sweet notes. This is one of the best malts for smoke enthusiasts.

Few whiskies are as full and rich in peat and smoke than the Ardbeg 10. If you are new to this type of whisky you might find it overwhelming hence don’t expect to like it as much as I do on the first date.

Whiskies of this type are an acquired taste that demand practice to be fully enjoyed. Once you come to terms with it you will find a hard time enjoying traditional Scotch whiskies.

If you feel overwhelmed by the Ardbeg add a few drops of water releasing sweet and floral notes making it easier to drink.

Learn how it compares to the Ardbeg Uigeadail!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Ardbeg:

  • Aged for 10 years in bourbon barrels.

  • Won Gold medal in the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

  • Jim Murray Whisky Bible: 2008 World Whisky of the Year.

Ardbeg 10 vs An Oa: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Ardbeg 10$60
Ardbeg An Oa$65

Ardbeg 10 vs Ardbeg An Oa: Which is better?

An Oa is an easier drinker

WhiskeyArdbeg 10Ardbeg An Oa
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Ardbeg An Oa is lighter and more approachable as smoke is not as heavy as in the 10 YO.

  • Still a complex whisky with plenty to appreciate.

  • If you have already tasted some smoky malts and are willing to take the smoke a notch higher the An Oa is a better option. If you want to take it 3 steps higher then the 10 Year is a better option.

These whiskies are solid and top-rated so you can’t go wrong with them.

Ardbeg

These whiskies are not chill-filtered and free of artificial caramel-coloring that are two important features for some old-school aficionados.

If you want to learn more about this brand read my post Discover the Best Ardbeg Scotch where I rank every bottle.

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