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Ardbeg 1990 Airigh Nam Beist

Ardbeg Distillery Please Listen

0 892

RReview by @Rigmorole

26th Oct 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I won't bother with tasting notes, since very few people can secure a bottle of The Beast.

Here are my impressions of the last glass I tasted (about two weeks ago):

Nose utterly fantastical and nearly otherworldly. I couldn't stop myself from nosing it, inhaling almost as if I were "huffing" some sort of illegal drug. There is a deeper, tar-like perfection, that transcends most of the Islays I have ever tasted. Truly one of a kind and magical.

Palate: I coated my tongue and luxuriated in this dram. No water added to the glass, but I did occasionally take a sip of water, wring and swallow all the liquid from my mouth, and then sip the dram with "refreshed" mouth tissues. For me, this technique often is superior to adding water to a quality dram. At 46%, the Beast needs no h20. It is nice with a lightly hydrated mouth, or a neutral mouth that has not recently sipped water.

Finish: Heavenly, absolutely divine. An immortal match forged in the fiery coke ovens of hell and then rocketed skyward to tempt the angels with its blasphemous "share." What a treat it is to sip a glass of Beast!

NOTE TO ARDBEG: Ye yon bright sparks hath never even come nigh to repeating the Magick That Is All Things Beisty.

Suggestion: Now here is a whisky that would stun the shite out of me, and many other connosrs: An offering very close in composition to the Beast with a higher ABV, say up round 51-54%, along with a touch of older casks to round out depth of character.

If you don't have the older backstock at Ardbeg any longer then consider acquiring some older suitably matched whisky (17-21 years or so) from another distiller on Isla or in the north. Marry this older acquisition with a fiery young upstart Ardbeg with a profile similar to The Beast.

The borrowed older whiskies need only be a small percentage of the blend; just enough to add a little depth & delight to the marriage.

There is no shame in using a wee bit of another distillery's older stock if your warehouses simply don't have the older stuff. Your fans would be delighted that you went to the trouble. And if you do have the older stuff, what better way to use it than to create a strong relation to The Beast.

Related Ardbeg reviews


Nemesis101 commented

I shouldn't read reviews of The Beast. Still got my 2008 Nam Beist on the shelf, glaring at me unopened for well over two years now! But I read this and the temptation increases. Must Resist!!

4 years ago 0

Rigmorole commented

Now are there different year bottlings of the Beast? I've never been clear on that. I guess I could just look it up myself. . . . The pub that served me a glass two weeks ago must have been serving the latest bottling if there's more than one year that Beist was bottled. Not sure on that. At any rate, it's one of my all time faves.

Open yer bottle! There's no time like the present! Or . . . better yet, save it for the holidays. What a great way to usher in the New Year!!!

4 years ago 0

Nemesis101 commented

Yep, there were 2006, 2007 and 2008 bottlings, (aged 16, 17 and 18 years repectively I think). I can't comment on the subtle differences myself but many rate the 2008 one as the best of the three.

I will definitely open my bottle at some point - not gonna let it gather dust forever. It's just a question of when.

4 years ago 0

Nock commented

@Nemesis101 is correct: The Beist is a vintage bottle (says 1990 on it) and there were batches released over the course of 2006-2008. How many batches total? Hard to tell. The big questions that is unknown is long will a blended batch sit in the giant vat before it is all bottled up? There is at least one (possibly two) batches from 2006, several from 2007 and at least two from 2008. Each batch will taste a little different. You will have to look at the bottle code to figure out what you have had. I drank my first bottle which I am confident came from 2006 (because I bought it in late 2006) before I was aware of bottle codes. My second bottle was L7 326 and I didn't like quite as much. I've never tried a batch from 2008.

To wrap up: because they all have a vintage year (1990) the barrels continued to age until they were vatted. So people (like myself) are fond of pointing out that a 2006 Beist would be around 16yo while a 2008 Beist would be around 18 years old.

General internet opinion is that the 2007 isn't as good as the 2006 or 2008 (like what I just said above) However, I think that is hogwash. I think each batch is different. I will believe that someone likes one batch over another when you can tell me which batch numbers you are comparing. Otherwise, you are just comparing a memory to what you have before you (kind of like what I did).

While hard to find these days - the Beist is still out there . . .

4 years ago 0

Lifewaterforce commented

I can't help but think you were implying Caol Ila by that statement "Northern Islay distillery" and yes i do agree. Caol Ila is a very adaptable and flexible malt, which is why i am not surprised it is the largest producer on Islay and has always been a sucessfull addition in most blends it's been involved in. A beast bottling with a small portion of older Caol Ila is a bright idea. Have had but one glass of the 1990 and it shook me, i think it's better than supernova and on par with the older bottlings of the Uggie as the best malt Ardbeg has produced. Very good review once more!

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

A love poem to ANB, by @rigmorole.

And to think, a couple of years ago on Connosr there were those who bashed Airigh Nam Beist as having too little flavour. I have never been one of those bashers of ANB, by the way.

4 years ago 0

OCeallaigh commented

I also have an unopened bottle sitting on my shelf for the past few years… waiting to be enjoyed…

4 years ago 0

Nock commented

@OCeallaigh . . . please tell . . . what is your ANB bottle code?

4 years ago 0

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