Scarabus Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky HL

Overall rating
Single Malt
Hunter Laing (HL)
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml 750 ml 1000 ml
Bottle code
LCM19 266
Bottled for
Fèis Ìle 2019
Added on
24 May 2019 3:43 pm by holborndrinker

Average value

€ 35.63

23 × in wishlist

250 × member ratings

817 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Scarabus Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky HL

33 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 83.55 points

  1. xandi37einhalb scored this whisky 85 points Expert Junior

    From my personal point of view, this dram has an excellent price-performance ratio.

    Color: light golden yellow
    • Nose
      Smoke, pineapple, beef soup, honey, gum
    • Taste
      Marshmallows, smoke, pineapple, malt, cocoa, gum
    • Finish
      Malt, smoke, pineapple, burnt sugar, medium length

  2. markjedi1 scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Ship’s Ropes
    Hunter Laing & Co, the company that runs the new Ardnahoe Distillery on Islay, jumped on the Feis Ile bandwagon in 2019 with the release of this single malt dubbed Scarabus. I’ll have you know there is a Scarrabus (with double ‘r’) Farm very close to Bridgend. Writings show that there was even a pot still there between 1817 and 1818, but apparently it was never operational. This still does not offer us any clue as to the contents of this bottle. But we can all agree, I’m sure, that the bottle looks stunning.

    The peat immediately rears its head in the guise of a bonfire on the beach, but is quickly and easily overcome by some citrus fruit and a truckload of caramel. Feels somewhat young, but it does not bother. The second whiff offers freshly polished leather and some plasticine. There is even a candy-like quality to it and in my opinion it works well. This is a very nice Islay nose.

    Yummie in the tummy! A touch salty, a bit sweet, lots of salted caramel and candied oranges. This is supported by a big smokiness with black pepper and some nutmeg. Greasy ship’s ropes and leather kick in, while a drop of balsamico joins to soften things up a bit.

    The finish is good. The malt softens further, the fire and spices fade and the oranges return again.

    Lovely Ileach. A young sherried Lagavulin if you ask me, but I could not get this confirmed anywhere. If you consider the fact that you can buy it for 35 to 45 EUR, then you know this is bang for your buck. Thanks, Manny! I’m getting me another bottle of this.

  3. ARDBERG scored this whisky 77 points Connoisseur

    almost virgin oaky, spicy, dry, not very pleasant and relatively ugly aftertaste (old socks?).

    superior design, inferior whisky. not sure this will serve as a flagship or bridge up to the first whisky. but the ardnahoe can only be better than this and the laings should have done better, or are the stocks that low?

    safe your money.
    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      79 79
    • Finish
      72 72

  4. valasios scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  5. TsiAI scored this whisky 84 points Expert Junior

    Room temperature when drinking: 16 ℃

    No coloring, non-condensing filtration

    Viewing Eyes: Gold

    Smell Nose: slightly burnt bacon, broth, rich in fat, sterilized water, familiar mint cooling, yeast and sweat, milk, sweet orange, orange, sashimi and shellfish, salty sea breeze, Wujiang mustard

    Taste Palate: matches, sweet and sour lemon candy, orange fudge, oranges, lemon peel, salty sea fish, sea water, burnt wood, disinfection water, familiar lime, rocks, baking soda

    Finish: Finish, long, canned syrup, earth, herbs, vanilla, sweet milk, obvious sweetness, yellow rock sugar, light smoked salmon, ashes, tobacco

    Body: Medium, medium-greasy, smooth, bitter, no tannins

    Nose: 84.5 / 100

    Palate: 85/100

    Finish: 84/100

    Body: 85/100

    Overall: 84.5 / 100

  6. Dre73 scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    Pretty good whisky actually, not too heavily peated, a lot of room for some sweet and fruity elements as well.
    • Nose
      84 84
      At first a lot of peat, rubber and fake leather, like a 'Scapino' experience. Caramel with a bonfire smoke-twist, then some real fresh citrus fruitiness comes in.
    • Taste
      84 84
      A lot of sal-ammoniac initially, some pepper, spicy, cinnamon as well, pretty strong. Some smoke, peat, fakeleather, caramel, licorice, orange as well.
    • Finish
      83 83
      Now it gets a lot smoother, bonfire smoke, licorice, still some orange, honry. Middle long finish, spicy as well.

  7. svenske2015 did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    They like it at MALT: https://malt-review.com/2019/07/05/scarabus-islay-single-malt/

  8. Lakerfield scored this whisky 83 points Expert Junior

    Rumoured to be Laphroaig, Lagavulin or Caol Ila. I'll go with either Lagavulin or Caol Ila, it has a bit of both. It's young though! Falls perfectly within the Islay category but it's a one-trick pony that offers too little to be interesting enough. Price/performance ratio is good and the bottle is seriously good looking too (marketing got me again). Honestly I'd much rather go for a Caol Ila 12.. A must try for peatheads and newcomers to the world of Islay, what is €40 nowadays?
    • Nose
      Nice peaty nose as you would expect an Islay to be, with some immature notes that haven't found their place yet. Starting with the obvious: Peat, brine, iodine, salt, pepper, ash, manure, grilled meat and cough syrup. A clear fruitiness like tangerine, citrus, orange peel and pineapple shines through after that. Lots of toffee, Mars bar, vanilla, lemon cheesecake and licorice to round things off. It's not all about the peat here as there's a massive toffee note after the expected notes. Big oak influence too as it's a fairly naked and the cough syrup stands out a little too much which causes unbalance. Still nothing that really bugs me.
    • Taste
      A blast of peat without the expected burn, that's a surprise. Very woody though, my guess would be ex-bourbon or virgin oak. Peat, ash, cold smoke, pepper, salt, iodine and bacon to begin with, after that some well-hidden fruits: Apricot, fig and grapefruit. Further on toffee, straciatella ice cream, Seville orange marmalade, pastry and licorice. Some vanilla, cinnamon, creamy malt, new oak and salted pistacchio too. Less fruity here which is an understatement! Lots of peat, wood and maltiness. Nowadays there are many wine matured/finished Islays but this Scarabus clearly wants nothing of that.
    • Finish
      Long with dark chocolate, salted caramel, pepper and cookie dough.

  9. holborndrinker scored this whisky 80 points Connoisseur

    It's good that it's not expensive, but one you might struggle with.
    • Nose
      79 79
    • Taste
      82 82
      A decent peaty taste, but...
    • Finish
      78 78
      Slightly chunderous aftertaste.

  10. Willum scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      83 83
    • Finish
      83 83


Add tasting tags by clicking the flavours you recognized in this whisky.


Whiskybase is founded in 2007 with the goal to create the biggest resource of whisky information in the world. A community driven website built by and for whisky enthusiasts.  

Whiskybase B.V. 
Zwaanshals 530 
3035 KS Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 

KVK: 52072819
VAT: NL850288836B01

Copyright © 2018

Forgot your password?