Ardbeg Wee Beastie: Here is the smoky monster dram

A five-year whisky joins the permanent range of the Islay distillery


Ardbeg promises a very lively and smoky whisky and presents ithe Wee Beastie: Five years old, matured in ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry casks and bottled at 47.4% ABV. This is not a special edition, but a whisky that will from now on be part of Ardbeg's standard range, and yes, it shows an age statement! Originally, the Ardbeg Wee Beastie was announced for March 2020, but actual news said fans of the iconic Islay distillery will probably have to wait until mid-April.

A small, biting beast

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, whose upcoming retirement we recently announced here, says about his distillery's new product: “Ardbeg Wee Beastie is an extraordinary dram. As our youngest matured whisky, it clearly shows the special characteristics of our stills - an ultimately good little beast!”, and Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Whisky Creation at Ardbeg, says: “I am sure that many Ardbeg fans and everyone who wants to become one will love this tongue tingler. Selected barrels create a bottling that can be enjoyed neat or is a delicious main ingredient in a very smoky cocktail.” (We translated those both comments from a German press release we got from Moet-Hennessy Germany).

The term "Wee Beastie" is probably not totally new to Scots and to Scotland travelers, but they heard it in a different context, not regarding whisky: Wee Beastie is sometimes referred to the small, annoying Scottish mosquitoes, the midges, which show up in swarms and bite you unpleasantly. An ideal template for the marketing people at Ardbeg, because the Ardbeg Wee Beastie also has the strong “bite”, they report, but it is the bite of a young single malt with its intense peat smoke and strong pepper and spice notes. And this Wee Beastie now joins the other Ardbeg peat monsters.

Tastingnotes for the Ardbeg Wee Beastie

In the nose: Very shiny, fresh and herbal, with a hint of vanilla, pear, black pepper, freshly ground, and glazed ham. Strong Turkish coffee, juicy pine resin. With a little water, more herbal notes such as vetiver grass, fennel and anise, green apple and leather.

On the palate: Powerful, explosively filling with lots of chocolate, tar, creosote tar oil and smoked bacon, followed by an eruption of antiseptic lozenges, eucalyptus and more anise.

Finish: A long, salty and palatable finish with notes of cocoa, fudge butter caramel and hearty meat.

Images: Moet-Hennessy