Ardbeg's Wee Beastie is a youthful single malt drawn from a combination of ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, bottled up at five years of age. Peaty notes sit at the fore for this one, with oak somewhat taking a back seat, since... Well, y'know, it didn't stay inside those casks for too long. However, don't mistake that for meaning Wee Beastie is an uncomplex expression. It still packs a satisfying flavour profile that should impress many of the Ardbeg aficionados out there.
Nose: There’s sea spray, rock pools, smoked malt and damp bonfire wood initially which waves of sweet and slightly vegetal smoke powers through. Hints of brown sugar, pear drops, a little vanilla and cooked apple add sweetness among notes of spare ribs, lemon sherbet, black pepper and wood shavings. I love this nose, it’s smoky and musty and like standing by a seaside bonfire.
Palate: The palate is very pleasantly sweet and salty. Citrus oils and orchard fruits are present along with an unmistakable dark berry tartness which is joined by plenty of damp peat and dry wood smoke. Adding depth there’s pepper steak, creosote and then some touches of clove and liquorice. In the back-end, there’s a juicy sweetness from lychee and peaches as well as just a touch of salted caramel.
Finish: The finish is exceptionally long and oily. It’s a bit like sucking on a lemon sherbet and taking a great big whiff of some freshly cut peat, to be honest. While standing on a beach. Lovely.
-- Masters of Malt