January’s Malt of the Month


The arrival of the New Year is always an exciting time for me when it comes to whisky. I finally have a chance to catch my breath after the busy holiday period and review the year that went by. Looking back, it was a great year for the whisky drinker, there has never been such a broad selection of quality malts to choose from. However you will surely notice that prices are steadily rising and you are being asked to shell out more of your hard earned money for your favorite single malt. I will touch on the subject of rising prices at a later date, but this issue leads us nicely into January’s Malt of the Month.

ArdbegArdbeg is often described as being one of Scotland’s most legendary distilleries and as such has a definite “cult” following. The distillery was one of many that closed during the dark recessionary days of the 1980’s, however it was bought by Glenmorangie in 1997. The new owners then set about re-creating the legendary heavily peated malt that the distillery was originally known for. Over the years many limited expressions have been released but the real star of the show is the “bog” standard 10 year old bottling.

This whisky has risen up the ranks at Vine & Table over the last few years to become one of our top selling malts. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is that stylistically it is everything that you think about when you think of Islay malts. On the nose there is, sweet toffee, seaweed and peat smoke. The palate is rich and oily with more bonfire smoke mingling with citrus, spice, and seaweed.  A classic expression of from this tiny island.

The other reason up to now has been price. We have been able to offer the 10 year old at a truly phenomenal price, in fact one of the lowest prices in the US. However that will all change here in a few months when this whisky will join forces with such well known Scotches as Laphroaig, Macallan and Balvenie and increase their prices significantly. For that reason alone, Ardbeg 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch has to be my Malt of the Month.

I am sad to say it, but the days of getting a single malt of this caliber for $39.99 are very much numbered!


Denis Lynch

About Denis Lynch

I am a true homegrown Irishman hailing from the only county you really need to know about, Cork. Whiskey, beer, wine and all manner of spirits are in my blood (figuratively speaking of course!). I first started my career in my Great Aunty Maisey’s pub in New Tipperary, Donoughmore, pouring pints and small drops to the auld lads after the fair. Little did I think back then that I would be taking a short hop, skip and a jump over to the U.S of A. But here I am and I have been with Vine & Table since the beginning. I am now the stores Beverage Manager and Spirits Buyer. I like to think that I have found my niche here in the US. I have a great love for all things spirits-wise and have developed our offerings here at Vine & Table to include the best Single Malt selection in Indiana. Pop in and see me for a chinwag and a small drop next time you are in Carmel. Slainte, Denis
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