Ardbeg launches a new 5 Year Old expression with the Wee Beastie joining the core range

The team at Ardbeg distillery have announced the addition of a new 5-Year-Old expression to their core range - with the Wee Beastie set to make its debut this April. 

Published 31st Mar 2020
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The new whisky will be the youngest in the brand's core range by a fair distance and has been described as a "feisty and intensely powerful smoky whisky" that is "untamed by age".

Matured in ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks, Wee Beastie is described by the distillery team as bristling with intense aromas of "cracked black pepper, sappy pine resin and sharp tangs of smoke".

Other tasting notes for the new expression include chocolate, creosote, tar and savoury meats, with the finish described as "long and salty".

Ardbeg’s director of whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, stated that he is in no doubt that Ardbeggians will love this "tongue-tingling" expression, he said: "The casks chosen for its creation make it ideal for enjoying neat or as the mouth-watering main ingredient in a powerfully smoky cocktail.”

Mickey Heads, who is soon set to retire as Ardbeg Distillery Manager, added: “A new permanent expression in the core range is always momentous for the Distillery, but Wee Beastie is a particularly special dram. As it’s a younger whisky, it means we’re able to get as close to the still as possible. So it’s safe to say this is a ferociously good wee nip.”

The latest release is priced at £40 (RRP) and will be available from stores nationwide this April.

Distillery Tasting Notes:

Colour: "Bright Auric"

Nose: Very bright, fresh and herbal, with hints of vanilla, pear, freshly cracked black pepper, honey-glazed ham. Rich Turkish coffee, sappy pine resin.

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With water, more herbal top notes like vetiver and fennel, along with aniseed, green apple and leather.

Taste: A rich, explosive mouthfeel with lots of chocolate, tar, creosote and smoked bacon, followed by a burst of antiseptic lozenges, eucalyptus and more aniseed.

Finish: A long, salty and mouthcoating finish with hints of cocoa, fudge and savoury meats.

Casks: Ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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