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.