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Ardbeg Wee Beastie Review: Everything you need to know!

Discover everything about the Ardbeg Wee Beastie in this in-depth review that answers all your related questions!

Ardbeg Wee Beastie tasting notes: How does it taste?

ardbeg-wee-beastie
NoseBeach bonfire, meaty smoke
PalateSmoke, eucalyptus, chocolate, tar
FinishLong, meat, salt, chocolate
Alcohol content95 proof (47.4% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toArdbeg 10, Lagavulin 8

The nose smells like a beach bonfire with a heavy bacon note.

Body is thick providing a good mouthfeel.

This is a young and strong malt, soaked in peat, quite meaty, with an unexpected wave of sweetness that makes you stay and delicious traces of chocolate on the palate.

The finish is long and pleasantly warm, rich in BBQ smoke and a refreshing medicinal note.

Is it smoky?

This is the smokiest Ardbeg

In a 1 to 5 scale (5 the highest) the Wee Beastie scores a 5 making it the smokiest Ardbeg.

The barley is peated to approximately 50 phenol parts per million which is quite high.

How to drink it?

Add water

Add a dash of water, that will open it up letting you navigate through the smoke.

Is Ardbeg Wee Beastie good whisky?

Yes

ardbeg-wee-beastie-label
A Monster of a Dram perfectly describes what you get

This is one of the best smoky Whiskies and one of the top Single Malts under $50 in the United States but there is a caveat: is not for everyone as it’s quite demanding.

The Wee Beastie is not easy to like and demands a well-traveled aficionado acquainted to this type of whisky.

If you are new this whisky you are going to feel overwhelmed by the heavy dose of smoke. Even supposedly smoky whiskies like the Johnnie Walker Double Black is a kitten next to the Wee Beastie.

If you have already tried true smoke bombs like Port Charlotte then this is something you should be adding to your cabinet as past the wall of smoke there is beautiful sweetness.

In summary, the Ardbeg Wee Beastie is a great option for determined aficionados willing to endure a blast of smoke.

Is it chill-filtered?

No

The Ardbeg Wee Beastie is a non chill-filtered dram.

Most whiskies are chill-filtered as a means of preventing the liquid from becoming hazy but some aficionados argue that this process robs some precious flavors.

Does it use caramel-coloring?

No

Ardbeg’s releases are free of artificial caramel-coloring which is the norm in the Scotch Whisky industry but this practice is frowned-upon by some purists including myself as it makes you feel cheated.

Ardbeg Wee Beastie: Age

5 years

The Wee Beastie has an 5 year age statement. It is matured using a mix of ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry casks.

Ardbeg Wee Beastie: Alternatives

Talisker Storm & Lagavulin 8

talisker-storm

The Talisker Storm is quite good, a bit lighter on the smoke and more approachable. Heavier on the smoke than the Talisker 10, preserving the peppery and mineral notes making a great sip.

The Lagavulin 8 is also a heavily peated whisky yet also a bit lighter on the smoke due to the additional aging, with some of the incredibly rewarding notes of the Lagavulin 16 which is a fan-favorite.

Ardbeg Wee Beastie: Price

Prices are approximate and stated in local currency:

CountryPrice
United States$50
Canada$80
Britain£38
Ireland€75
Australia$95

Wee Beastie: Alcohol content

95 proof (47.4% ABV)

This is quite a decent ABV providing good body to the whisky while not making it warmer.

Vegan certified

The Wee Beastie is vegan certified.

Does it expire?

Alcoholic beverages do not expire

It will last for years as long as you store it in a cool place and away from the sunlight.

I strongly suggest drinking it ASAP once the content is down to 25% as liquors start developing awkward notes past this level.

How is it made?

  1. Peated barley is milled and mashed with water sourced from Loch Uigeadail before being fermented in washbacks made of Oregon pine.
  2. Wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process creating a lighter and richer whisky.
  3. Following fermentation, which lasts for 55 hours, the mash is distilled twice, first through a copper-pot wash still and then again through a copper-pot spirit still.
  4. The spirit is then aged in ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks for 5 years.
  5. The result is bottled at 95 proof.

Ardbeg 10 Year: Cheat Sheet

Type of WhiskySingle Malt
Age statement5Y
Proof95
ABV47.4%
Is it good?Yes
Is it top-shelf?Yes
Does it expire?No
Sweet?Moderately
Warm?No
Peaty?Heavily
Good for beginners?No
Good for cocktails?No
Good with Coke?No
Calories per shot108
Gluten-freeYes
Keto-friendlyYes