Often my gaze is cast upon the shelf toward the Ardbeg section with a usually unfulfilled expectation of something new from Islay. I’ve grown accustomed to disappointment and just wryly smile and keep searching for something, anything I haven’t seen before. Today was that day! It was in fact a new offering from Ardbeg! What a treasure in these dreadful COVID times!
I don’t often see scotch whisky lower than aged 10-12 years from Islay, the Lavagulin 8 comes to mind, but that is it. I have acquired some less aged Islay sourced whisky but it was usually a great deal of effort for me to find, typically an unexpected discovery, and costly. Yet here it is, the Wee Beastie!
First, if you are an Ardbeg fan, I’m pretty sure you are going to love this. If you are a fan of Islay “peated” whisky then this will not disappoint. If you do not know what peated whisky means, put the bottle down. You will be starting your Islay whisky tour in the deep end of the pool, you may want to start with a nice Bowmore first and then work your way around to Ardbeg 10.
I love this and couldn’t be happier to have found this. I love to taste scotch whisky through its life cycles (years). Each stage of development bringing a little more nuance. This is a perfectly good non-filtered dram and I’m drinking it neat, no water, and its pleasurable at 47.4% ABV! If you like to add a good bit of water to it, its quite good and reminds me a little of the lemon zest you may get from a Bowmore 12. It’s nice and oily, typically phenolic, and lingers like a good friend. I cannot wait to visit the store again, I’ll be picking up a few of these friends to keep!