Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5yr – The Review

By Andy Smith

Another Ardbeg is born. The Traigh Bhan and An Oa stand as fine Ardbegs but the reception has been politely muted. Will this be the bottle that becomes a shelf staple? Let’s start this out with a note from Ardbeg :

Ardbeg Wee Beastie is the latest permanent expression to join the Distillery’s Ultimate Range. At just five years old, Wee Beastie is a feisty young creature with a formidable taste.

SOMETHING BIG AND SMOKY…


Our whisky creators set out to make the rawest, smokiest Ardbeg ever. The result is Ardbeg Wee Beastie and this tongue-tingling, beautifully smoky dram is the youngest Ardbeg we’ve ever made.

THE REVIEW

Nose:

Polyurethane drying on pine. Ah yes, the fine smell of a fumy garage signalling a child is but a day away from a new bunk bed. Perhaps there’s a sack of potting soil from Lowe’s still waiting for spring planting.

Palate:

Thin and watery mouthfeel, but is still flavorful. Good choice not dropping this to 40% as it doesn’t seem like it could take more water and keep its punch. It’s simple and soil-y, perhaps with a hint of semi-sweet Werther’s Original candy. The finish is fleeting but makes you want to drink more, FAST.

THE VERDICT

This seems to clock in at around the $40-$45 range and may be less after tariff’s end. This goes down very easy, almost too easy. Ardbeg, with their odd-looking choice of ABV (47.5%), has managed to keep the Wee Beastie delicate enough not to burn, but flavorful enough to keep us interested.

Very few of you will remember the Ardbeg series that followed 5-10 years after the re-opening in 1998. The “Path to Peaty Maturity” (Very Young, Still Young, Almost There) follows the development from a 5-6 year old malt to 10 year (bottled as “Renaissance” but unlike any Ardbeg 10yr before or after.) It’s been a decade since I’ve had them, but I recall the youngest versions as vegetal and toe-curling but getting better as their age progressed. Because of the closure, those bottles couldn’t have included older Ardbeg. Wee Beastie, however CAN and likely does have older Ardbeg in it to smooth out those “Very Young” edges. Remember, “5yr” on the label just means that there is nothing under that age in the bottle. They could put 22 year old whisky in if they wanted. Aside from adding older whisky, the only other way this Beastie could be so different from the Path Series is that they used different spirit or different casks, but it seems unlikely that this could may up the difference.

At this price buy two so you don’t have to go back to the store tomorrow. It’s not epic by any means, but have a look at your fill level an hour after you open it… it may scare you a WEE bit.


Burns Poem 2020 – Orange County

IT’S ON THE FUCKING SITE

There you are, sprawled on the couch, with bottles on your crotch
You’re binging TV reruns, while you’re buzzed on crappy scotch
But then somehow, a feeling strikes, something much like shame
That dramming scotch with Scooby Doo might be a little lame

Yes, you think, I must resume to drink the scotch of kings
Like Family Cask Glenfarclas, and those other malty things
You toss out all the Dewars from your “Do Not Take Home Glass”
And vow to go to Scotch Club, instead of lying on your ass

You ask your favorite boozy friend who thinks the club meets soon
And if it’s on a night you’re free, that’d be most opportune
“But how, but when, but what,” you think, “I don’t know where to go”
Yet you don’t look on Google, cause, well, I don’t fucking know

You quickly turn to Facebook, Zucker’s sleezy habitat.
It’s that place you blast your politics and pictures of your cat
You find the Scotch Club group page, and before you think, you type
May I suggest, before you ask, you try the fucking site.

Yes, we have a website, it’s something you forgot
And if you say it’s hard to find. No, really, dude, it’s not
How ’bout trying this neat trick, I swear it’s not bizzare
Type scotch, then club, then add dot com. Was that so fucking hard?

Just open up a browser on that phone inside your palm
Then click into the address bar and type scotchclub.com
And if you see our logo, then my friend you’ve done it right
It took you 15 seconds, but you found the fucking site

Our site will have your answers, though it doesn’t look so great
It’s a page that’d be impressive, back in 1998
Yes, Scotch Club has a web page, and it’s working day and night
So if you’ve got a question, why not try the fucking site

“Oh dear, oh dear, what time is it? The email didn’t say.”
“I can’t have drinks with Scotch Club if they won’t tell me the day”
Remember, please, my dear WEE brain, before you start the tears
Our site has posted time and date, for 14 fucking years

“But where, oh where’s this meeting at?” Is what you start to moan.
Although you know the restaurant name and have a fucking phone.
Yes, a thousand dollar wonder with a navigation app
Plus, on our godammed fucking site, we link the fucking map

We paid two thousand bucks for this domain to be our home
But if you tell my wife that, I’ll be sleeping all alone
You won’t find any sports scores there, but then again you might
Find something about scotch club, on the Scotch Club fucking site.

It’s true that you can contact me if you need help, but look
Do you email Jeff Bezos when you need to buy a book
No, you just find his website, then you go and buy your junk
Our site’s the Amazon.com of getting you’re ass drunk

So let’s review the point my friends, just so we get it right
Don’t text, don’t post, don’t call my mom, until you try the site
Scotchclub.com’s where you go first, it’s all you need to learn
For fucks sake it, don’t just go for me, go, for Robbie Burns

Burns Poem 2020 – San Diego

IT’S ON THE FUCKING SITE
—-with love, from Andy Smith—-
 
 
There you are, sprawled on the couch, with bottles on your crotch
You’re binging TV reruns, while you’re buzzed on crappy scotch
But then somehow, a feeling strikes, something much like shame
That dramming scotch with Scooby Doo might be a little lame

 

Yes, you think, I must resume to drink the scotch of kings
Like Single Cask GlenDronach, and those other malty things
You toss out all the Dewars from your “Do Not Take Home Glass”
And vow to go to Scotch Club, instead of lying on your ass

 
You ask your favorite boozy friend who thinks the club meets soon
And if it’s on a night you’re free, that’d be most opportune
“But how, but when, but what,” you think, “I don’t know where to go”
Yet you don’t look on Google, cause, well, I don’t fucking know
 
You quickly turn to Facebook, Zucker’s sleazy habitat.
It’s that place you blast your politics and pictures of your cat
You find the Scotch Club group page, and before you think, you type
May I suggest, before you ask, you try the fucking site.
 
Yes, we have a website, it’s something you forgot
And if you say it’s hard to find.  No, really, dude, it’s not
How ’bout trying this neat trick, I swear it’s not bizarre
Type scotch, then club, then add dot com. Was that so fucking hard?
 
Just open up a browser on that phone inside your palm
Then click into the address bar and type scotchclub.com
And if you see our logo, then my friend you’ve done it right
It took you 15 seconds, but you found the fucking site
 
Our site will have your answers, though it doesn’t look so great
It’s a page that’d be impressive, back in 1998
Yes, Scotch Club has a web page, and it’s working day and night
So if you’ve got a question, why not try the fucking site
 
“Oh dear, oh dear, what time is it?  The email didn’t say.”
“I can’t have drinks with Scotch Club if they won’t tell me the day”
Remember, please, my dear WEE brain, before you start the tears
Our site has posted time and date, for 14 fucking years
 
“But where, oh where’s this meeting at?” Is what you start to moan.
Although you know the restaurant name and have a fucking phone.
Yes, a thousand dollar wonder with a navigation app
Plus, on our godammed fucking site, we link the fucking map
 
We paid two thousand bucks for this domain to be our home
But if you tell my wife that, I’ll be sleeping all alone
You won’t find any sports scores there, but then again you might
Find something about scotch club, on the Scotch Club fucking site.
 
It’s true that you can contact me if you need help, but look
Do you email Jeff Bezos when you need to buy a book
No, you just find his website, then you go and buy your junk
Our site’s the Amazon.com of getting you’re ass drunk
 
So let’s review the point my friends, just so we get it right
Don’t text, don’t post, don’t call my mom, until you try the site
Scotchclub.com’s where you go first, it’s all you need to learn
For fucks sake it, don’t just go for me, go, for Robbie Burns

Burns Poem 2020 – Los Angeles

IT’S ON THE FUCKING SITE
with love, from Andy Smith

There you are, sprawled on the couch, with bottles on your crotch
You’re binging TV reruns, while you’re buzzed on crappy scotch
But then somehow, a feeling strikes, something much like shame
That dramming scotch with Scooby Doo might be a little lame

Yes, you think, I must resume to drink the scotch of kings
Like That Boutique-y Whisky, and those other malty things
You toss out all the Dewars from your “Do Not Take Home Glass”
And vow to go to Scotch Club, instead of lying on your ass

You ask your favorite boozy friend who thinks the club meets soon
And if it’s on a night you’re free, that’d be most opportune
“But how, but when, but what,” you think, “I don’t know where to go”
Yet you don’t look on Google, cause, well, I don’t fucking know

You quickly turn to Facebook, Zucker’s sleezy habitat.
It’s that place you blast your politics and pictures of your cat
You find the Scotch Club group page, and before you think, you type
May I suggest, before you ask, you try the fucking site.

Yes, we have a website, it’s something you forgot
And if you say it’s hard to find. No, really, dude, it’s not
How ’bout trying this neat trick, I swear it’s not bizzare
Type scotch, then club, then add dot com. Was that so fucking hard?

Just open up a browser on that phone inside your palm
Then click into the address bar and type scotchclub.com
And if you see our logo, then my friend you’ve done it right
It took you 15 seconds, but you found the fucking site

Our site will have your answers, though it doesn’t look so great
It’s a page that’d be impressive, back in 1998
Yes, Scotch Club has a web page, and it’s working day and night
So if you’ve got a question, why not try the fucking site

“Oh dear, oh dear, what time is it? The email didn’t say.”
“I can’t have drinks with Scotch Club if they won’t tell me the day”
Remember, please, my dear WEE brain, before you start the tears
Our site has posted time and date, for 14 fucking years

“But where, oh where’s this meeting at?” Is what you start to moan.
Although you know the restaurant name and have a fucking phone.
Yes, a thousand dollar wonder with a navigation app
Plus, on our godammed fucking site, we link the fucking map

We paid two thousand bucks for this domain to be our home
But if you tell my wife that, I’ll be sleeping all alone
You won’t find any sports scores there, but then again you might
Find something about scotch club, on the Scotch Club fucking site.

It’s true that you can contact me if you need help, but look
Do you email Jeff Bezos when you need to buy a book
No, you just find his website, then you go and buy your junk
Our site’s the Amazon.com of getting you’re ass drunk

So let’s review the point my friends, just so we get it right
Don’t text, don’t post, don’t call my mom, until you try the site
Scotchclub.com’s where you go first, it’s all you need to learn
For fucks sake it, don’t just go for me, go, for Robbie Burns

Review: Compass Box: Tobias and the Angel

Jon Glaser does some for the masses and some for the whisky snoots. This one is for the snoots. Tobias intrigued me enough to purchase a couple of bottles for our member hour at Peatin’ Meetin’. It’s not easy to get as its SRP is set at $500, and is sold for hundreds over that. TatA is blended malt, which used to be called a vatted malt or pure malt, and means it’s all malt from multiple distilleries without any grain whisky. Technically we could call it a double malt as it is a product of Clynelish and Caol Ila. I’ll let them speak for themselves about what’s in the bottle:

“The expression is a blend of just over half 24-year-old malt whisky from Highland distillery Clynelish, which was aged in American oak hogsheads, and peaty whisky from Islay distillery Caol Ila “of a considerably older age”.”

Of course Compass Box being Compass box, they couldn’t just put on an ordinary label and give it an ordinary name. Since I don’t like repeating what has already been done, I’ll let our Scotch Club members tell you the story behind the name and label.

THE REVIEW

Nose: Intense.  Potpourri in a lumberyard.

Palate:  Fun and spunky.  Damp antique furniture in a tropical environment with salted caramel.  An oiliness coats your mouth and keeps it tingling as if a little electrical current is running for a full minute.  The Clynelish definitely asserts itself in the first second before the Caol Ila says ‘howdy’ . You can’t stop chewing on this one. I felt like a dog licking peanut butter off the roof of my mouth. This one is old and refined, yet lively.  It’s like an old gentleman dusted himself off to cut a rug at his granddaughter’s wedding.