Sure Shot.

Wee Beastie 5-Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch

Ardbeg

When it comes to peated whiskies, some enjoy adding a few drops of water.  Others add an ice cube or two.  Still, some enjoy a “Smokey Cokey” – adding Coca-Cola to their peaty-punched dram.  Me, I recently started adding summer to my peated whiskies.  I’ve usually been one to enjoy a liquid campfire deep in the throes of a cold wintery night while saving the stumid days of summer to a lighter whisky.

In today’s glass waiting to be explored is a young Islay single malt, Ardbeg’s 5-year old Wee Beastie.  Unlike a Talisker which comes in at around 25 Peat Parts Per Million or a Laphroaig 10 between 40 – 50 PPM, the Wee Beastie bruises in between 50 – 55 PPM.  This isn’t a peat firecracker to say the least. 

 The Wee Beastie is straw coloured which isn’t surprising seeing that it’s a wee youthful whiskey.  Still though, for its age it’s seen time in ex-bourbon and oloroso casks.  Having enjoyed the 10-year old and Uigeadail, my taste buds readied themselves for a peat blam. 

Yes, the Beastie is young but not “hat-on-backwards-you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do” young.  It’s exuberant but not unruly.  The phenols are certainly there; however, it doesn’t mask the other notes either.  Along with the smoked malt came sweet notes of vanilla and brown sugar.  Raisins, thanks to its time in the oloroso casks were also there.  As well as of wafts of just-cooked-on-the-barbeque savouriness.   

 A sip, ok, maybe two, continued the exploration.  Yes, the medicinal, peaty, resiny and barbecue smoky approach made itself welcome on the tongue, so did peppery heat and ginger.  The sweetness of vanilla and dark caramel was noticeable as well.  The finish wasn’t as long as I would have hoped for but seeing as it is a younger whisky, maybe it had to go meet up with its friends somewhere.

 This may not be a complex whisky yet, don’t let its youth make you think it’s a one-trick pony either.  There’s a flavourful presence richly blended with the peatnicity of this whisky.  There’s savory and sweet, peaty, and fruity, bold with subtlety. 

Say whatcha-whatcha-whatcha-watcha want, all I can say is Wee Beastie – boy!  Cheers.

Tasting Notes

Colour:  Straw.

Nose: Peat, vanilla, brown sugar, raisins, smoked malt, and barbecue.

Taste: Ginger, smoke, vanilla, resin, dark caramel, and peppers.

Finish:  Medium-long.