This sample arrived late due to postal issues with Covid-19. I was so happy when it made it. Great to see an addition to Ardbeg’s core range, especially as this ‚Little Beast‘ has an age statement. The five years don’t worry me, peated whiskies are way more drinkable in younger years than normal ones. Of course, you lose some complexity but gain sheer power on the other end. However, a higher abv would be even more to my liking… but this has to fit newer palates in the market as well, so this is ok. And, forgive me, it really looks cool. The contents were taken from Bourbon and Oloroso casks, refill, I would reckon. Let’s have a dram:
Comment: Powerful and typical, extremely smoky (like thick clouds packed into a hole in the earth – quite mezcal-esque) and direct hit. No mash aroma, this is good antiseptic and peaty Ardbeg. Altogether it has a greener profile (herbs, green tea, pear, apple, Aloe, pickles) and spices are key (pepper, leather, jalapeno). It also sports chocolate, chalk, flinty sulphur, lemon dash, prosciutto ham, cold brew coffee and vanilla, even shortbread and a hint of cherry brandy. However, my beloved iodine is tuned on low. Not low on complexity, but wilder an greener than usual. On the palate you can detect the rounding-off effect of the sherry casks (well done), the Ardbeggian sweetness is there – and big smoke. Still balanced, not overpowering, not weak, just about right. Vanilla, and „welcome“, iodine, green elements, fired guns, leather and discrete old wood. Nice long finish. No monster, a good Islay Mezcal 🙂 Proven: For this whisky, no weird finishes are necessary. Absolutely recommended for its price below 40 bucks.