Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old

Peaty, Leathery
2022-05-27
After the No Age Statement (NAS) Whiskys (legitimately) earned some criticism in recent years, the Islay distillery Ardbeg dared to take the bold step of releasing a young single malt with an age statement and including it in the standard bottlings.
Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old
Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 Year Old (Image Source: The Whisky Exchange)

See

The Ardbeg Wee Beastie is intended as a young, wild and untamed bottling to expand the standard range. After a maturation period of 5 years, it is to be expected that some flavours will not be quite round yet. Incidentally, the Wee replaces the Corryvreckan as Ardbeg's most peated Scotch.

Smell

We smell vinegary acidity, black pepper and strong sweet tobacco smoke. The combination somehow reminds us of the rubber of bicycle tyres that have just ridden through barbecue sauce. A little salty liquorice and vanilla bean shine through.

Taste

Darkly burnt smoked bacon with a little sugar first hit the tongue. In the middle are tar, leather and intense peat smoke. As in the nose, saltiness and a nuance of vanilla also resonate here.

Finish

A dry, peaty something lingers forever in the aftertaste.

The Ardbeg Wee Beastie comes in the usual Ardbeg green bottle with some red details (Foto: WHISKY:EDITION)
The Ardbeg Wee Beastie comes in the usual Ardbeg green bottle with some red details (Foto: WHISKY:EDITION)

Conclusion

The Wee comes across a little uncharming compared to the other Ardbegs. We miss the oloroso sherry cask finish (maybe another year would have done good here?). The usual Ardbeg citrus notes are not to be found either. What was true for the younger NAS bottlings is also true here. We have a more raw distillery character in the whisky due to the age, which is really interesting, but also still very edgy. Without wishing to imply evil, Ardbeg has deliberately made the Wee Beastie smokier to mask these not quite clearly defined flavours.
Ultimately, it is a single malt whisky that you have to make a conscious decision to enjoy and certainly not an easy sipper and also definitely not for beginners. But Ardbeg lovers will get their money's worth here.

80/100 - Excellent
(Marcel: 78 | Sascha: 82)

Value for Money: Good

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