Ardbeg An Oa

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Charred New Oak, PX Sherry & 1st Fill Bourbon
46.6 % Vol.
700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 700 ml 750 ml 750 ml 1000 ml 1000 ml 1000 ml
Added on
21 Aug 2017 5:08 pm by holborndrinker

Average value

€ 54.17

56 × in wishlist

1352 × member ratings

4493 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ardbeg An Oa

125 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 84.26 points

  1. Drk Neknul scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Not bad, not bad at all. Much better - but probably a bit higher priced - than the 'Select' or 'Small Batch' releases of other renowned Islay distilleries.
    • Nose
      Amazingly fresh and fruity in the nose. Lime cream. Maybe sweetened with a little honey. The smoke I feel noticeably less phenolic and less "dirty" and tarry, as in TEN, Uigeadail or even at various UAs, which I was allowed to taste in recent months. I have an interesting tobacco association. It will be interesting to see how the clear smoke affects the taste.
    • Taste
      46.6% ABV already suspect it. The drinking strength makes the malt look very pleasant on the tongue. The beautiful citrus note, which reminds me of some of the long-gone Ardbeg distillates, remains intact. The AN OA looks pleasantly creamy, but without being able to match the almost proverbial creaminess of a Port Charlotte in this aspect. The 'smelt' reminiscent of chocolate pralines. Only from the mouth feeling, even if I have no present Schokonoten in the taste. The sweetie has deposited the honey and seems to me now rather malty. Vanilla powder like a pudding. Interesting spice, cereal notes. Oatmeal, soaked barley, in addition to the nose now stronger smoke flavors. The smoke is quite maritime, but much less tarry and medically, as one is used to from the bottlings of recent years, what the AN OA a great clarity, I would almost say 'purity' provides, which I like personally. If there is a summer whisky from Ardbeg, the rather unconvincing Blasda times out, then it is the AN OA.
    • Finish
      No miss notes! No sulfur, no metal, although by nature he is certainly still young, and above all no excessive bitterness. So for me more balanced than the Kelpie, which scores in the nose with great smoke and eucalyptus and in the finish then goes under the bitter load of the Black Sea areas in the knee. But back to AN OA. The previously rather lemony smoke exchanges its fruitiness towards the end in slightly earthy notes that remind me quite remotely to the Ardbog and form a nice, round conclusion.

  2. Archer scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    As an addition to the core range thought, you can sort it well as a beginner Ardbeg.
    • Nose
      Cool, phenolic smoke over lemon cake and lime slices. Maritime notes of seaweed, algae and sun-dried fish. Saline, spices come from afar. Over time dried apricots, later also red grapes. Long smoky.
    • Taste
      Lemon smoke with tobacco crumbles bounces on the tongue. Nice dry, ashy. Fine salt note, mild herbs, ginger, fine-sour chocolate. Becomes a bit bitter over time, but does not lose strength.
    • Finish
      Medium long, dry, smoky, with hints of roasted lemon slices.

  3. hs305 scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    [October, 2017]  I call this the "little Kelpie".  Obviously, Kelpie was a test ballot on how a caucasian virgin oak Ardbeg is received by the Ardbeg community.  And as the reactions on the Kelpie were rather mixed they most probably adjusted the An Oa recipe to a more smoother and less woody (aggressive) dram by adding more standard bourbon casks and less virgin oak - what is fine.

    But why do they use virgin caucasian oak at all?  The reason is very simple:  Due to the long-lasting whisky boom there is a severe cask shortage at all Scottish distilleries (bourbon whisky did not grow as much as Scotch did) and even more severe at groups that do not own a bourbon distiillery in their portfolio (like LVHM).  Consequently, to mature the ever growing output scottish distilleries more and more have to use virgin oak casks too and therefore a lot of scotch whisky has become more wood-driven and bourbon-ish in their style (look at Laphroaig or Macallan, for example).  

    Caucasian oak induces a different flavours profile into whisky than the traditional american or european oak.  It is significantly more herbal with eucalyptus and camphor notes (that I personally do not like as this reminds me of cough medicine).  In this respect it is a completely new style of whisky that you either like or not.  But to say it very clear:  Distilleries do this out of despair (as they are short of high quality casks) and not because they want to innovate...  But it is an innovation, nevertheless!  And we will see if this leads to some more interesting flavour profiles over time (once the maturation had a chance to really work over an appropriate period and not just for a few years as with the Kelpie or An Oa), especially when second and third fill caucasian casks are available.

    But to be honest:  This is a typical Ardbeg, for sure and it is better than other standard editions right now (good that they did the test ballot with the Kelpie).  But it is not great and rather average only (or judged by Ardbeg standards:  still below average)...

    PS:  I tried batch L67986 bottled 04/07/2017.
    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      84 84

  4. MrDvorak scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    RATING: 85pts – |83 – 86 (B) → Good| — Not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    • Nose
      86 86
      The nose is not typical for Arbeg's and has notes of dark chocolate and lemon peel, some tobacco and caramel.
    • Taste
      85 85
      The taste is gently smoked and little but spicy with notes of fresh wood, dried bananas and spices.
    • Finish
      84 84
      The finish is quite long and has a gentle smokiness and minerality with notes of anise and chocolate.

  5. SAND scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    (Tasted semi-blind; I knew it was Ardbeg, not which one)
    NOSE: Sweet bonfire ashes. Initially it smells like a relativelely dry, not so coastal peat, which has had a healthy dose of sherry maturation. Gradually a maritime influence comes along, with iodine, tar, old tarry boat ropes, some herbal greens, winter green, and that sweet oily smell which you get from combining Islay peated spirit with sherry casks. Quite rich and lovely but not terribly complex. With time becomes more and more green and herbal. (88-89p).
    TASTE: The arrival is rather fruity and slightly sweet. On the mid palate there are greengages, green bananas and green herbs, with eucaluptys and mint and also some bitter green herbs as well as some bitter wood tannins. (86p).
    EXIT: Sweet, slightly oily bonfire ashes. Mild black pepper. Green herbs. Quite nice. (86p).
    OVERALL: A very green and herbal, but a bit unbalanced. A not so very ardbeggy Ardbeg. Lovely nose, though. TOTAL SCORE 87 (86) points.

  6. Koning scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Nice Ardbeg, but certainly no improvement over the Ten, Corryvreckan or Uigeadail for me.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Typical heavy but fresh Ardbeggian peat. Lemon, aniseed, chalky, sea spray, ropes and tar. Quite familiar, but I also get dates and banana.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Dry peat with sour citrus notes. Fresh herbs (peppermint,cumin), artificial sweetness, a bit grassy and waxy.
    • Finish
      84 84
      More restrained peat, quite mineral and a bizarre fizzy feeling of 7-up. Some milk chocolate and fades out dry.

  7. Kantenmechaniker scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    It's a bit the tamed version of the Ten, I did not notice so much of the sherry influence, but a good complement of the standard range, which I would pour in now and then, if I did not have hundreds of samples in front of me ;-)
    • Nose
      Beautiful phenolic smoke, somehow I have the feeling of sitting in a pine forest, spicy, but also fresh, grated lemon peel, greasy, under it slightly leathery, the Ardbegsüße is also there, but not as superficial as the Ten, the existing fruit note is more in Direction yellow fruits, right sherry associations I have now in the nose no, after the first sip even fresher, more citrus, lighter
    • Taste
      creamy, directly a lot of smoke, here now relatively sweet, greasy, some cinnamon, pepper, syrupy, honey, yellow fruit, vanilla, slightly chalky, the mouthfeel itself is quite dry, if you smack something is the bacon also something milk chocolate to guess , quite creamy, delicious but also quite simple
    • Finish
      dry, the ashy and spicy smoke dominates here, fruit on the palate, otherwise the mouth is still full of smoke with a light citrus note

  8. wbarchive_875995 did not rate this whisky Expert Junior

    Smoky dark chocolate with lemon peel, hay, tobacco and caramel.

    RATING: 85pts - [n21,t22,f21,b21] → |83-85: Decent|

  9. HammerHead scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Nose: loads of fresh lemon, lemon peel, lemon drop sweets (Napoleon lemon balls), lemon curd, bitter oranges and lime which actually overpower the smoke and peatiness at first glance. Also there's some pencil shavings and a touch of milk chocolate.

    Taste: quite similar to the nose but a little less profound, clear citrus with again the lemon curd and sweets, spicy peatiness and the fresh wood notes.

    The finish is of medium length with smoked wood and has a honied lemony sweet/sour feel to it.

    Less smokey and peaty than expected on beforehand, but I really like the fresh lemony feel of this dram. I might even prefer this over the 10 year old.

    Edit: as the bottle level drops, the citrus notes shift more and more to the background. The ashy notes in the finish get more pronounced. It turns out to be a bit of a one trick pony, which does not improve with time. I'm dropping the score, still a decent enough dram though.
    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      83 83

  10. Pollenflug scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Conclusion and pictures on: https://tomtrinkt.de
    • Nose
      Summer fresh, with plenty of light fruit, floral accents and a - for Ardbeg conditions - restrained smoky, the new An Oa rises from my Glencairn. The fresh-sweet smoke has beautiful tar flavors and has a minimal medicinal effect. Vanilla, limes, grapefruit, oranges, green apples, baked apple pies, toasted malt, subtle hints of herbs, maritime aromas (salt) and wooden notes (old cigar box) complete the aromatic variety. No overwhelming complexity monster, but with a crystal clear and harmonious line.
    • Taste
      Buttery and creamy, the Ardbeg clothes the entire oral cavity. The tip of the tongue tingles easily at the beginning. A balanced symbiosis of light fruits, vanilla and smoke floods the palate. Lemons, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, ripe apples, delicate pastry notes, herbs, dried tobacco leaves, mineral notes and a slight oak spiciness stand out. The tarry smoke (now with light ash notes) is always present, but without being too strong and overloading. The alcohol content of 46.6% is perfectly integrated and allows an intense aroma transport.
    • Finish
      Medium long, warm and smoky. The fresh sliced ​​lemons and bright fruits now give way to the ashy tarry smoke and echoes of salty milk chocolate. A minimal dryness develops on the palate.


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