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Ardbeg 1990 Airigh Nam Beist

Average score from 22 reviews and 84 ratings 91

Ardbeg 1990 Airigh Nam Beist

Product details

  • Brand: Ardbeg
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Vintage: 1990
  • Bottled: 2008

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Ardbeg 1990 Airigh Nam Beist

This Ardbegian dram is very nearly perfect, aside from an underwhelming ABV. I sipped a glass yesterday while I supped, and scribbled down some tasting notes on a napkin upon a rather splintery picnic table.

Since The Beast is so hard to come by these days, I treasured the moment as a "second coming" of Ardbeg's miraculous nectar into my life. Let's hope it's not the last.

Nose: Charcoal, creamery butter, calk dust, BBQ chicken, sage.

Palate: Lovely peat presence, Allspice, dark chocolate, Orange Crush, woodstove fire smoke and creosote, hint of the sea.

Finish: Turkey jerky, BBQ potato chips, fading peat, smelling salts, sea salt, vanilla bean, chickory.

"The Second Coming"

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Above poem by Ireland's wwn William Butler Yeats: Notorious member of The Golden Dawn Occult Society, who, no doubt, was not thinking of the Baby Jesus or the Messiah's triumphant return to earth when he penned the above poem.

Let's face it: Ardbeg's Beast is no angel, despite all of the talk of "angel's shares" in the industry among distillers. Then again, Old Testament angels weren't partial to playing softball or strumming on harps with their flaming swords and bolts of fire. Still, I tend to think of whisky as Old Bendy's provenance. 1974, indeed.


This is a bottle I opened on 10/10/2008. This was the first release of the Airigh Nam Beist from 2006 (so the sixteen year old version) made from a mixture of first and second fill ex-bourbon casks (no sherry here!) When I tasted it the bottle had been open for 3 years and then decanted into a smaller bottle. I tasted it next to the Ardbeg 1977 and the 17 year old.

Nose: Very delicate peat on a very complex bed of flavors. This easily seems like the most dense nose of the night where the 17 is the lightest. There is a beautiful smoky peat here that is both old and rich. There are orchids here . . . there are some thick velvety notes with hints of cinnamon, all spice, brown sugar, caramel, nutmeg, and cloves. There is an elusive sweetness that is just out of reach of the minds eye. It hints at sweet and hints at dry, but it doesn’t seem to be either. If the 17yo is Ardbeg at its most appealing, then this is Ardbeg at its most seductive. That peat is just so damn sexy. It is a peat fire in an old dark woods where the trees are so close together that light doesn’t shine on the forest floor. You are drawn to it like a moth to the flame all the while knowing that things in these woods could devour you whole. There are also some iodine and strong maritime notes from the ocean: seaweed, sea salt coated rocks, and sea soaked drift wood. Now the sweet bourbon almost makes an appearance . . . but then jumps out of frame before the camera can focus. OH YAH . . . once you dial in on the bourbon (this is a mixture of first and second fill “bourbon” casks from Jack Daniels – I know “not bourbon”) you can really pick up on that influence. Just about one of the best Ardbeg noses ever! A top 5 “all time” whisky nose for me. Water actually releases some of the Beist within. It just becomes more muscled peat and smoke.

Taste: Sweet arrival with velvet cake, dates, plumbs, vanilla, oak, and peat. There is also an interesting note or two that are reminiscent of the 77 where you have hints of pine and diesel oil.

Finish: There is that intake of breath with some green pine notes . . . and then an assault of sea salt and iodine. It is a slow building of smoke, peat, herbal, and citrus. It carries along pine, smoke, mint, eucalyptus, and mango while still leaving a trail of salt and soft peat embers. A very nice and sophisticated Ardbeg. This is a medium finish as well as the 17 . . . while not being as impressive as the 1977 . . .

Complexity, Balance: Certainly one of the most complex and well balanced Ardbegs I have tasted. There is such an amazing balance from the peat, smoke, fruit, sweet, and dry flavors. That power, depth, and complexity extend over the entire span of this malt – nose to finish. Hard to fault it

Aesthetic experience Light gold . . . possibly a shade darker then the 17yo and the 77. Medium to medium full bodied. First, I have to say I love Ardbeg. Second, I love the name. However, I wish they would have used the name for a real “Beist” of a dram (like the Corry or the Supernova). It is odd that neither the Beist nor the Alligator are as ferocious as their names lead you to believe – they are in fact rather tame Ardbegs. Back to the bottle: Love the NCF while the 46% is just ok. 48% would be better and anything between 50-58% would be amazing. Then again it wouldn’t be the same dram. Love the vintage idea, but why would Ardbeg consider this being a standard release? There was no way to keep it up for long . . . However, I love the sophisticated feel of this dram. Hope the new 17 or 18 year old is like it. But, I hate the label with the name breaking out of the boarder. So huge points with a few taken away for persnickety reasons.

Conclusion: Hands down better then the 17 year old. I really can’t love this nose any more. Truly fantastic. But I don’t love the taste and the finish . . . they leave me wanting. Maybe it needed to be at Cask Strength . . . or maybe that is just me . . . Either way, this just had too little power for my taste. Comparing this to the 1977 the ’77 wins on taste. This catches back up based on the fact that you can still find this guy on shelves . . . if you look hard enough. I have passed on buying more of these bottles for $100 on several occasions. I think I paid $120 for this bottle over 6 years ago in Seattle . . . for my money the lack of power doesn’t make up for the wonderful nose. I now have only one 50mL sample left from my original bottle . . . I can nose that for ages.

The Airigh Nam Beist is my favorite Ardbeg, followed by the standard 10yo, which IMO is one of the best Islays out there, even without taking into account its very reasonable price.

Beautifully caressesd review, @Nock. Thanks for all the excellent detail.


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.

@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 . . .

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!


Time to open another bottle of something peaty, something Ardbeg. This one is bottled 2007, so it is 17YO. The last bottle I had was also a 2007 so I do not know how this compares to the 2006 or 2008 bottlings.

Salty vanilla and poached pears absolutely fill the nose. Nougat and honey coat the mouth. A real sweetie. Let's give it a swish. At 46%, the burn is noticeable and nicely numbing. Getting some faint burnt marshmallow on the finish, which could be longer, but is entirely sweet and pleasant.

I like this a lot. It is not as aggressive as the 10 and the Corry, which are frankly, a bit more than I can handle.

This is an expensive bottle. It is going to cost me $130 to replace this, but I like it so much that I am going to.

Revisiting this, as I revisit Current 93's Earth Covers Earth. I decanted a 4 Oz'er from the last bottle that I opened with the intention of holding on to it for a while. But Mulligan's has one more bottle of this on the shelves, and I must ask myself, do you really want to spend another 130.00 just to secure another bottle of this overpriced malt? I say overpriced because if you peel back the sticker, you can see that it was once priced at 112, but has been re-stickered at 130.

Upon smelling my first pour, I am immediately reminded why this is my favorite of all Ardbegs. 46% and 17 years have produced a whisky of incredibly balanced proportions. Tonight, I have been sipping on a 16 YO DE Lagavulin, and this absolutely trounces it in the taste department. This is heavenly. The salt, the brine, the vanilla, and something I cannot describe, but oh so uniquely Ardbeg. It is there. Honestly, the cask strength bottlings just overwhelm me. This though, this is perfection. I would give this a couple more points tonight. And tomorrow, I am going to spend another 130.00 on this whisky. If you see it, I suggest you do the same.

Thanks for your response. You're a lucky man to have that store near you. Very cool.

If I were you, I would buy two more bottles, not one! They are collectable now. Even Master of Malt is out of the Beast. Praise be to Tennessee!


My local whisky haunt just revised and expanded on a menu that was severely outdated and as it turns out, an Ardbeg that was previously listed as simply "Ardbeg 1990" turns out to actually be the Airigh Nam Beist--a malt that I've been hoping to find since I tried my first Uigeadail. And all the while... it's been right here unbeknownst to me.

There was only a little bit remaining, and needless to say I stuck around to finish the final three drams of what is most likely the last bottle they have. :) And quite possibly the only one I'll try.

I figured a review was in order.

Nose: Pretty understated nose on this. Some mild leather, a substantial sherry presence, hints of creamy toffee and milk chocolate and a touch of very sweet pipe tobacco.

Taste: I'm getting a lot of creamy milk chocolate with a mild mannered peat infusion. Imagining what brownies baked on Islay might taste like. Graceful development. Later in the development a heat builds and the creamy chocolate takes on more of a chilli chocolate character with the sweet tobacco and leather coming back near the end.

Finish: Sugar cane, cream, leather and cinnamon. A fleeting hint of dark cherry--perhaps black forrest cake. And under all of that a faint pipe tobacco note that carries on and on and on...

Airigh Nam Beist... it was a pleasure to finally meet you.


Airigh Nam Beist was first sold in 2006 and was bottled over two more subsequent years. Its name is Gaelic for “shelter of the beast". This review refers to the 2007 release, a 17-year old whisky matured mostly in ex-Bourbon casks.

The nose delivers a powerful impact: it is intense with tar, salt, brine and coal ash. As was to be expected there also is a lot of smoke but rather decent and soft. With water the smoke becomes even lighter while vanilla and lemon notes appear as well as a malty sweetness. I must say that this is a great nose, smoky on the one hand but with a sweet and fruity element on the other hand.

The palate is medium-bodied and smooth but quite spicy. There is less smoke than what the nose suggested, more like a bonfire smokiness, soft and subdued. At the end I detected coffee and chocolate.

The finish is quite long and warming. The smoke is now much more pronounced. With water the smoke becomes more subdued and oily like smoked salmon.

I loved this Ardbeg. It has the intensity that I would expect from an older release but at the same time it surprised with its malty sweetness and perfect balance. Too bad that this has now become rare.

Delicate and beautiful. Airigh Nam Beist is a refreshingly 'feminine' expression of the heavily peated Islay whiskies. This fills such a nice niche that it will be sad when it will be near-impossible to obtain, which will likely be quite soon.

I could not agree more, Victor. I still have a bottle in my cabinet but don't dare touch it as it has really become quite rare. I do love this expression of Ardbeg, indeed very delicate and refined.


The Airigh Nam Beist hit the shelves for the first time in 2006. It is Gaelic for ‘Shelter of the Beast’, pronounced ‘arri nam baisht’ and named after the second lake south of Uigeadail (another tongue twister). In 2007 and 2008 new batches were released of this originally 16 Year Old whisky.

I get sweet, delicate peat, seaweeds and iondine (but less than expected) on the nose, followed instantly by fruit in the guise of lemon, peach and Granny Smith apples. A little farmy too. Dried flowers and hay. Not really a stable scent, but close enough. I imagine myself it is the scent of the Beast’s lair.

The first thing I notice, when the whisky carresses the tongue, is the generous creaminess. Caffé Latte. Followed immediately by salt and pepper and a whole lot of citrus (but less than on the nose). The peat is less delicate here, as if it has had enough of sulking in the corner. A slice of smoked ham (from the Beast?) and a lot of liquorice. Very, very nice.

The finish, on liquorice and sea salt, is wonderfully long.

The nose was okay, but on the palate, it is a stellar whisky. Ardbeg enjoys cult status. The big downside is the fact that bottles increase in price faster than you can imagine. This was originally sold for around 70 EUR, but today you will have to fork over (even for the newer batches) double that amount.


Nose: soft thick peat, toffee, orange peel, coals, sea saltiness, soft wood

Palate: Very creamy, salty tang, Ardbegs standard Omnipresent smoke and peat but soft, dried green apple, toffee, buttermilk, cream, sweet vinilla, cereal grains, some nuts (walnuts, almonds)

Finish: Smooth and soft smoke and peat yet very creamy, slight vinilla sweetness, sprinkle of salt.

Note: The bottle I have is of the 2006 batch.


I'm very happy and glad that I finally own a bottle of this fantastic Beast from the legendary Ardbeg, the Airigh Nam Beist 1990-2008. It is quite hard to find but thank God I bought this great dram from a great and fantastic whisky store here in the Netherlands for 115 euro, every penny worth it! For all Ardbeg's actually, are every penny worth it.

Here my review of this wonderful delicate dram.

Nose: Very nice smooth, citrus like lemon and grapefruit, lightly peated and smoked also some oily elements of nuts, savoury as well.

Taste: In one word: Fantastic!! Delicate, smooth. Fine smooth peat, lighty balanced with great chocolate and raisins. Lemony, and also a bit sweetness with a hint of coffee and mint.

Finish: Long, fades slowly away with chocolate, caramel and coffee with the great Ardbeg peat behind.

One thing is for sure, this piece of Art of the maqnificent Beast of Ardbeg is a perfect whisky!


750mL scored at a hole in a wall in Maryland for $130 a bottle. Alright, sounds good to me seeing that DC bottle shops will try to dupe you into paying $250 for a bottle of Supernova and $150 for a bottle of Corryvreckan.

The Beast pours super pale straw with beads forming quickly with a swirl and thin, delicate legs.

Nose is more Highland than I was expecting with spiced golden pears, muted bacon fat, yellow apple pie, lightly smoky wood. Fresher, inviting nose. No intense peat or near formaldehyde smell that can sometimes come through with Islay scotch.

Taste is oily and very nutty with huge macadamia nut and Brasil nut fat and bitter husk.

Finish is quick, small esophagus heat, leaving a trail of roasted nuts and fatty oil. Very delicate and lovable with no real smoke or peat presence. Very muted saltwater brine and char. I would say if you are a Highland fan and scared of Islay, this may be a nice compromise.

I will say that my relationship with Ardbeg started me off in love with Corryvreckan and not a big fan of the Uigeagail. Now I find myself sometimes wanting Corryvreckan and always wanting the Uigeagail. The latter is meaty and spicy and hugely satisfying with a lot of body and presence. The 1990 is so soft and pear heavy it's tough to say it is better than the Uigeagail, which I'm starting to think is actually the best Ardbeg and therefore the best Scotch in the world.


Bring it back... please don't take this one away from us!!!

Out of all the Ardbegs in the range, this has been my favorite so far, because of the nuances of character that I haven't quite found anywhere else. Don't get me wrong, I am a diehard Ardbeg fan and like pretty much everything in the range no matter what many critics say about popularity ruining the consistency, but this one was just something special for me.

Pricey little bottle, but worth every penny. Notes of cream, ice cream, and vanilla emerge from the peat to wrap the intense phenols on the nose in a delicious soft shell. The vanilla notes emerge again on the palate, coming out a good while after the peat has coated the tongue, melts away into a smoothness that is unlike anything I've had before in an Islay malt. Truly one of a kind.

I've compared this to an Ardbeg milkshake and will probably cry on the day that this bottle is empty.

There was one store in Dallas that had 4 bottles of the 2008 bottling around Christmas. Having spent lots on Christmas, I was unable to buy all of them, but I did get one. As soon as I finish the one bottle I do have open, I am going to have to lock up the reserve bottle. I don't trust myself. I just LOVE Ardbeg.


I have previously reviewed this (connosr.com/reviews/ardbeg/…), but when my wife bought me a bottle I noticed it was significantly different than I remembered and from my notes, so I thought a re-review was in order.

So some info - the Beast was distilled in 1990 and was bottled in three batches - in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I don't know what year my previous Beast was bottled at, but this one is the 2008 bottling.

It's pale so it looks to me like it was probably exclusively or mostly aged in ex-bourbon barrels and it's pretty unlikely to have had any caramel added - but take that with a grain of salt, I don't know for certain, but that's what it looks like to me!

The nose is rich, full of velvety peat with salty highlights over a toffee apple sweetness. Gentle smoke is there as an undertone - but it's a bit greasy, like from a properly fired up barbeque with maybe a hint of good tobacco smoke. There's some iodine in the background and a hint of citrous as well. Really intriguing and keeps modulating, with it being slightly different every time!

The taste is creamy but surprisingly light. Initially full of peat, smoke and brine, it quickly and gently gives way to vanilla and citrous (maybe pineapple?), some mint and hints of good olive oil. Dangerously easy to drink, and very moreish.

The finish is moderately long and gently warm, full of citrous, olives and a peppery saltiness come to the fore and are tucked to bed by a nice warm peat and barbeque smoke blanket.

This is genuinely excellent, and really drinkable. The finish isn't short (not even close), but I find myself wanting to get back to this much quicker than a lot of other drams. Bit expensive (and far too hard to find nowadays) to be a session whisky... ;)

Just goes to show the difference different batches/bottlings can make.

@jdcook, Great review! Spot on about ANB's drinkability. Once I open a bottle, it rarely lasts more than a few days. Although not as powerful as other Ardbegs, the ANB's balance is what's so amazing to me. It has a little bit of everything and melds it in perfect harmony.

Lucky for Californians, the ANB is readily available at decent prices.

@whiskyshiba - A bit jealous that this is readily available. My wife found a bottle that had been languishing on the shelf of a local bottle-shop that was still priced at the same price it would have been stocked at 2-3 years ago. Can't find it anywhere else here... ;)


This is a 1990 vintage limited edition from Ardbeg. There were three releases 2006, 2007 and 2008. Mine is 2008, so 18 years old.

Nose: Typical peat from Ardbeg, but with something special. Vanilla ice cream. It is peated vanilla ice cream. Strange, but interesting. There is a bit of citrus on the background also

Mouth: Typical Ardbeg peat with campfire smoke. The vanilla ice cream is still there, which makes it very good. It is different from all the other Ardbegs I have tried. It is like a Ardbeg that has been made for women but men has the right to like it also.

Finale: Very long, it is 18 years old after all. The campfire smoke stays in the mouth for a half eternity.

The whisky is very good. It is a peated Ardbeg like always but with a feminine touch that makes it very unique. I drop a tear each time a take a dram and sees the bottle go down as it is sold out everywhere !!! I should have bought a case.


At a recent "tasting event" among some web designer friends, I was able to sample this lovely bottle of Scotch. (visual proof here bit.ly/fhBO0k )

I liked it so much, I went out a purchased a bottle for my collection. To convince you to do the same, I will now describe my initial tasting experience...

First, the nose: "oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhh" Then, the taste: "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" And finally, the finish: "aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh"

For a review that uses words like "carmel, vanilla, smoke and smooth," please refer to the other reviews. And for goodness sake, get yourself a bottle of Nam Beist before they're all gone!


The Airigh Nam Beist is a vintage release, originally distilled in 1990 and bottled over three subsequent years: 2006, 2007, and 2008. The 2008 release is the subject of this review. In my review of the Ardbeg 10 year-old, I suggested that the TEN is a “benchmark peated malt Scotch whisky.” In tasting the Airigh Nam Beist, the TEN’s older and increasingly more difficult to find sibling, it seemed only natural that I used the TEN for the sake of comparison.

The nose is reminiscent of dry barbecue smoke, brine, pepper, and anise. There are also occasional notes of vanilla, marshmallow, apples, sulfur, and grass. In comparison to the TEN, the Airigh Nam Beist is a slightly more visceral and sweeter experience, and the anise is a touch more prominent.

On the palate, I find wood smoke, menthol, lime, brine, and black pepper. Fleeting hints of green apples, caramel, and reminders of the ex-bourbon barrel it was aged in arrive. It tastes a touch more mature than the TEN, though perhaps less spritely for it.

On the whole, I give the edge to the Airigh Nam Beist. I find it ever so slightly more refined and deliberate than the TEN, and exquisitely well crafted. Find a bottle before they're all gone.

Hi @dbk, can you clarify the assumption I hold, that the 3 Nam Beist bottlings have been aged 16, 17 and 18 years ? Good to read your take on these Ardbeg expressions ... and the comparison between them.

It's a good question, @AboutChoice. It is my understanding that the three releases are indeed 16, 17, and 18 years old.


On the nose: mild smoke, sherry, very creamy, treacle sponge, a waft of ginger. Doesn’t come with the heft of smoke one expects from an Ardbeg, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

In the mouth: I was bamboozled at first. There are some sophisticated things going on. Creamy, mouthwatering peppery spice, then a sweetness, caramel, vanilla, then a tinge of brine. It’s lovely and oily, just sits in your mouth and on the taste buds. There’s a deeply pleasing after-taste of sweet, gentle smoke and barley.

This is a dessert Ardbeg. Absolute bliss.

Having only tried the 10 year old which I enjoyed very much , I am envious that others have access to more of Ardbegs offerings . Canada seems lacking in Ardbegs more renowned malts . Dr. Lumsden and the lad definatly do distill heaven in a glass . Guess that Pdh. in biochemistry paid off for all of us.

Your review whets my palate. I found "The Beast" a couple months ago at one of our state controlled monopoly liquor stores. They had 5 bottles left. I bought two and recently was in the same store scoping things out. The remaining 3 bottles from a couple months ago are still there. Huh.


The bottle lists this whisky as distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2008

Nose: Moderate peat, some medicinal smell, grapes, lemon, melissa balm, hysop, carnation

Taste: wine flavour, peat, lemon, melissa, salt. The flavours are more robust in the mouth than in the nose, and form a nice coherent package

Finish: long, but quickly becoming very gentle

Balance: the flavours gel together nicely in this whisky. Some of the herbal and floral elements here seem quite distinctive to my palate. This is an excellent whisky to sip while sitting back and contemplating the meaning of life


To me, the nose on this beats out Uigeadail; it's phenomenal. When this stuff fills your mouth...oh my gosh it's amazing. The peat smoke is tamed by lucious white chocolate, marshmallow, and sweet barley. The peat comes back a little bit after, then the salt, then the fresh vegetal finish.

This isn't just my favorite Ardbeg, it's my favorite scotch so far (and I should buy another bottle--while I can--and keep it hidden for awhile).

The name, to some, implies a giant, bold scotch. This isn't. It's a very welcome surpise; an elegant desert scotch from Islay. I would have love to have tasted this at cask strength.

NOTE: Don't add too much water to this one.

This sounds delicious. I was looking at a bottle of this yesterday but plumed for the Corryvreckan simply as I’d had a sample at the weekend along with the supernova and just loved it.

^ Title edit: I meant "Dessert" not "Desert" ; )


Bottle signed by Davinia, known to be reminiscent of ice cream. Drammed from Glencairn glass.

N: Much more subtle on the peat and medicinal aromas than most of the other Ardbeg offerings. Slight sweet caramel and toffee, little oak, slight creamy aroma. Light peat and fresh dirt from a potato. Water really cuts down on most of the aromas but brings out a touch of fruit.

T: Semi hot to start, some nice peat comes out first, smokey and a little iodine but not too heavy. A little sweet caramel and some creamy flavors build, which gives it that ice cream like flavor. A little chewy malt flavor as well. Water cuts down the heat, obviously, but also seems to bring out the peat more, but its accompanied by some chocolate and more sweet caramel.

M: Medium body, rolls around the tongue smoothly. A little oily.

F: Finishes a little more smokey, hot with warming alcohol, and a slight left over syrup on the mouth.


After galg's review of the Airigh Nam Beist the other day, I though while I was heading down to 'The Lark' to taste their wares, I would also see if they had a bottle lying around (they have a pretty big whisky collection on the shelves), and buy a glass. They did, so here were my notes:

The nose is warm, peaty and smoky, with notes of sea salt and a subtle maltiness. Not a very complex nose, but pleasant enough.

The taste is light, which is slightly surprising for a peaty smoky Islay malt. Once again there are sea salt notes, and after a second some caramel comes through as well. While all the elements of a good Islay dram are there, this seems just slightly disappointing.

The finish is long, smooth, with the smoke and peat slowly warming over the top of the caramel sweetness.

It's a fine dram, but it's like they took the formula for an Islay malt and reproduced it perfectly, but missed the key ingredient - character. All Islay malts are distinctive, and this feels like it is trying to blend into the background. Just like how hollywood take a style of movie, then make it formulaic, thereby killing off half the fun.

So, it's not on my wish-list, but certainly not bad by any means. It probably should be an 8.5, but it lost a half point because Ardbeg's should be better.

@Victor - it certainly is. Even two bottlings from the same batch are often significantly different, but bottlings from different batches are always different even though most distilleries do their level best to standardise their process and raw materials, it never comes out the same. Not to mention that the difference between two bottles from the same batch where one has been open for months compared to an unopened bottle will also be significant. And this may be the case for my different experiences in this case - I didn't get a good look at the bottle the first time round. So although I suspect my first experience was from the first bottling, not the second, that is only my suspicion but that may not be the case!

I'll write it up the new review this weekend sometime.

@Victor - indeed. I might throw in a new review for the Beist just to show the new changes - I'll include any bottling marks I can find on the bottle.

@Peatpete - I have heard that the second of the tow Beist bottlings was significantly better than the first, and the first bottle I had was probably sitting open on the shelf at the Lark for a number of months before I got to it - so it may well have been from the first bottling, and may well have dulled down a little as a result of oxidation from being open on the shelf too long (this suits some whiskies better than others).


I am a big fan of the Ardbegs as you all know. the 10, ugedail and Corry are among my top 10. i was meaning to taste the beastie for a long time, and had the opportunity to do it only last night, in a comparative tasting against the Corry. i was very surprised by the malt profile...

Nose: Much lighter and fruitier than i had imagined it to be. it reminded me of some Bruichladdichs, more than the usual Ardbegian zesty peaty stuff. Peat is there, but not as much as in the nose (as in the 10, corry). some vanilla, flowery heather notes?? (arbeg?!?!) quite feminine.

Palate: Smoke is felt immediately, peat touches the tongue, but not major amounts of it. it's definitely less fruity and floral than the nose. which is a nice twist. also, some salty notes.

Finish: one of the shorter Ardbeg finishes around. smoke is felt, and also the maltiness, but not for very long.

i would say that this malt would gain a lot of points if it were bottled at cask strngth like its successor the Corryvreckan. i felt it was a bit shy. i love my Ardbegs hot, spicy and peaty.

I know many poeople think of this malt as the best ardbeg around, but i beg to differ. it's a great malt, but not on my fav list. if we talk in points, 85.

I might have to head down to the Lark (which is a local Tasmanian distillery - I will be posting reviews of it's various bottlings before too long - but also a whisky bar), and see if they have any on the shelf and give it a go. It's a bit expensive to be buying if it isn't that good...


The greatest Ardbeg I have ever tasted. But it is actually more then the typical Ardbeg! Suddenly there is a comfortable aftertaste. You sit around enjoying it without the constant urge to have another sip of your glass right away...

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