Airigh Nam Beist 1990 is a delicious vintage bottling from the ongoing success story that is Ardbeg. Sadly now discontinued due to exhausted stocks, ‘the Beist’ was an extremely popular Ardbeg, with assertive and powerful peatiness and a lovely honeyed edge. Oh, and it’s pronounced ‘Arry nam Baysht’
Some of the best intensely smoky, peaty Islay whiskies are balanced with a foundation of malty sweetness. This whisky is an excellent example. A sinewy malt with the classic bold notes of kiln smoke, peat, tarry rope, and coal ash. Sweeter notes of honeyed malt, ripe vanilla, chocolate fudge and toasted marshmallow temper and soothe the palate, along with background berry confit. The smoke lingers long on the palate. Ardbeg devotees will not be disappointed.
Some folks tend to sometimes be disappointed when trying older, peated whiskies because they’re not as “in your face” as younger bottlings. I must say, though, these softer, more elegant peated malts can bring fantastic balance and are simply more approachable, with aromas and flavors that are freed so-to-speak from those extra years spent in the barrel. However, as some flavors begin to show themselves, others can begin to leave – sometimes resulting in a less complex whisky. In the case of Airigh Nam Beist, it is overall quite fantastic. The only unfortunate side of this one of course is that it is no longer produced.