I just picked up a bottle of Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 year. I really enjoy the Lagavulin 8 year, so I was excited to try an even younger Islay malt. It's definitely a different experience compared to their older brethren that have more time in the barrel.
As you might expect, there is a lot less wood character. There is also a lot less of that bacony/sea salt/iodine range of flavors. There is also way less tannin. You end up with that smoky, peaty note in the lead and the finish has some fruit and diesel. Its a bit hot on the tongue, but the heat fades quick. What's interesting is that at 5 years I still get a bit of sweet vanilla, but there's no tongue depressor/woody/tannic pucker.
I hope I see more of this trend. I always used to think that older always meant better, but I'm really liking what I'm getting out of these younger single malts.
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