|Airigh Nam Beist Limited Release
|Bottlecode L8 273
|In Original Box, Top lid is dented
A brand new version that should be steadily available from now on. Like Uigeadail, the unpronouceable name is a lake's. Sort of replacement for the 17yo I guess… Colour: straw. Nose: starts smokier and also much more medicinal than both the old 17 yo and the current 10yo. Bold notes of iodine and Mercurochrome, getting then very mineral (flints, coal) and nicely sour (lemon, fresh walnut skin). Goes on with whiffs of sea air and a little diesel oil, lamp petrol…Really sharp – great here – and uncompromising, with a ‘nasal finish’ on raw peated barley and wood smoke, with kind of an enjoyable acridness. Very different from its colleagues Uigeadail and 10yo, with no fruits or roundness whatsoever. Maybe the bad boy in the range? Mouth: extremely consistent, just as nicely sharp as the nose suggested. The attack is slightly salty, very lemony and quite peppery, with kind of a greenness (apple skin, green tea, very dry white wine). A tad less smoky than on the nose. Lots of fresh bitter almonds, a little paraffin, strong cough syrup… Petrol (not that I already tried that), grapefruit skin… It’s juts at the rather long finish that a little sweetness comes through (apple compote) together with quite some salt and spices (green curry). Excellently sharp – a great, great surprise, this new Ardbeg!
Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 1990: A Legendary Tale of Peaty Excellence
In the realm of Scotch whisky, Ardbeg stands as a colossus, known for its captivatingly smoky and peaty expressions. One of the most revered and celebrated releases from the Ardbeg distillery was the Airigh Nam Beist 1990. Distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2008 after 18 years of maturation in bourbon casks, this expression is a testament to Ardbeg's commitment to crafting exceptional single malt Scotch whisky. While it may have been discontinued due to exhausted stocks, its legacy lives on as a beloved chapter in the Ardbeg success story.
The Ardbeg Distillery
Before diving into the smoky allure of the Airigh Nam Beist 1990, it's crucial to appreciate the heritage of the Ardbeg distillery. Nestled on the rugged southern coast of the Isle of Islay in Scotland, Ardbeg boasts a rich history dating back to 1815. Over the years, it has weathered the storms of closures, changing ownership, and economic hardships. Yet, its unwavering dedication to producing exceptional peated whisky has allowed it to not only survive but flourish in the modern era.
The 1990 Distillation
The Airigh Nam Beist 1990 was distilled in the midst of a renaissance for the Ardbeg distillery. With an extended maturation period of 18 years, it had ample time to absorb the rich flavors from the bourbon casks. This patient aging process transformed the raw spirit into a masterpiece of balance and complexity.
The Airigh Nam Beist 1990 is a whisky that demands reverence. Here are some tasting notes to give you a glimpse into its remarkable character:
1. Color: Golden amber, reminiscent of the warm, honeyed tones of a setting sun.
2. Nose: The aroma is a harmonious blend of peat smoke, vanilla, and citrus. It's an invitation to the untamed beauty of Islay.
3. Palate: On the palate, you'll discover an exquisite fusion of smoky, earthy notes with a gentle sweetness of honey and ripe fruits. The peat, though assertive, is beautifully balanced.
4. Finish: The finish is enduring, leaving behind a delightful interplay of smokiness, oak, and a touch of brine.
The Legacy of the Beist
The Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 1990 earned a special place in the hearts of whisky aficionados due to its distinctive character. It's celebrated for its assertive and powerful peatiness, combined with a honeyed edge that adds depth and complexity. The name "Airigh Nam Beist" may seem enigmatic, but it's pronounced as "Arry nam Baysht" and adds to the mystique surrounding this expression.
Though the Beist is sadly discontinued due to exhausted stocks, its legacy continues to influence the world of whisky. It remains a sought-after collector's item and a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of the Ardbeg distillery.
The Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist 1990 is a whisky that belongs to the pantheon of Scotch legends. It captures the very essence of Islay, with its peaty allure and balanced complexity. While it may no longer be in production, its memory lives on as a reminder of the extraordinary journey that is Scotch whisky-making.
Whether you were fortunate enough to taste this gem during its heyday or are discovering it through the annals of whisky history, the Airigh Nam Beist 1990 is a treasure worth celebrating. Raise a glass to the legacy of Ardbeg and savor the timeless magic of this remarkable whisky.