Country: Scotland
Region: Islay
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Distiller
ABV: 47.4%
Score: 93 points

Ardbeg Wee Beastie. Image courtesy Ardbeg.One of the youngest Ardbeg releases since the “young” Ardbegs of the mid-2000’s, this is a 5-year-old single malt matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks. The nose has the usual Ardbeg peaty and creosote-laden character, but it’s complemented nicely by touches of honey, grilled pork chops, peppercorns, cocoa beans, and a hint of garden herbs. The taste starts off with a touch of chocolate malt, followed by a burst of peat, creosote, and grilled bacon along with hints of menthol and anise in the background. The finish is long and briny with salted caramel, dark chocolate, lingering spices, and a hint of barbecue sauce. Ardbeg could have left the age statement off of this one and let us think it was older, but props to them for transparency on this wee beastie. (March, 2020)