94 points and 'Top 20 Whiskies of 2020 (#6),' Whisky Advocate: "The youthful age statement may take many scotch drinkers by surprise, but don’t let double-digit bias prevent you from enjoying this exciting yet easy-drinking peat bomb. Salt water and seaweed, smoke and sweet peat tussle on the nose, while vanilla, fresh berries, and ample nuttiness spread out and take hold. The structured, balanced palate is creamy, nutty, and spiced, showcasing brown-sugar bacon, smoked salt, milk chocolate, pepper, and well-integrated oak, all wrapped up like a cigar with flakes of ash and sustained smoke. This precocious youngster shows more complexity than some whiskies twice its age, making it a remarkable find. ABV 47.4%."
Apart from the name, nothing is small about Ardbeg's newest addition to their permanent lineup. It's a 5-year-old peat monster and an incredible entry point into the world of Islay Malts. The nose is bright with herbal, vanilla, pear, black pepper, and honeyed ham notes. There's some coffee and pine resin in there as well. The palate brings chocolate, smoked bacon, eucalyptus, and aniseed to the table. Finishes long and briny with lingering cocoa and cured meat notes.