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Ardbeg An Oa

(70cl, 46.6%)

Ardbeg An Oa

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Ardbeg An Oa Bottling Note

An Oa is named after the Mull of Oa in the south west of Islay, which offers the Kildaton coast (where Ardbeg distillery is situated) some protection from the worst the Atlantic has to offer! As such, An Oa is intended to show a more approachable side to Ardbeg single malt that's as rounded as the Oa peninsular, without losing the characteristic distillery style. In the summer of 2017 this became the first addition to Ardbeg's core range in over a decade.

Maturation took place in a combination of casks including Pedro Ximénez, charred virgin oak and ex-bourbon, which were all brought together to marry in Dr. Bill Lumsden's new 'Gathering Vat'!

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: This sweet, creamy Ardbeg offers notes of butterscotch, fennel seed, tobacco leaf, Honey Nut Clusters and hints of mixed boiled sweets (fruit, Everton mint and menthol). The citrus notes are subtle and rich, coming through as flourless orange cake.

Palate: Still plenty of peaty oomph, although perhaps lighter in body. Notes of cigars and golden syrup flapjacks with sweet black tea on the tail and hints of chocolate limes.

Finish: Smoky treacle lingers with a little peanut brittle.

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Ardbeg An Oa Reviews

Maybe one of my new favourites.

Sweet/salty licorice, dried seaweed, warm earthy smoke, complex, baked yellow apples and much more...
Don't review the "neckpour". It gets even better... with some time and air in the bottle.

28th September 2020


Just as I posted my review, I got what this whisky is about. I'm sticking to my original score, what I said about it not being a traditional Ardbeg stands and it won't be everybody's cup of tea. The "missing" bit at the front of the nose is there from the PX, I guess I was just so overwhelmed by the minty/menthol/eucalyptus vibes that I couldn't focus on it. So actually I maybe would buy it again, but it won't be what what comes to mind when I want Ardbeg.

8th September 2020

What is it?

We've all got our personal tastes and whilst I would go so far as to maybe agree this is more complex than 10, I just don't dig it as much. The composite flavours just don't mesh well to me (and I like many different whisky styles), and it certainly doesn't taste like an Ardbeg. The nose is great, the taste is alright, but the finish is very dry and a bit eucalyptus like. Overall it is missing something to balance it out... this might sound bananas, but I think in 3D with flavour and I'd say this is harsh on the front of the tongue and back of the nose, and is missing something in the front of the nose and sides of the tongue. Good luck figuring out what that means.

My curiosity is satisfied but I don't think I'll buy this again. It is by no means a bad whisky, so don't let this review put you off, but don't buy it expecting the usual Ardbeg fare.

8th September 2020

A perfect cigar malt

I think this is my 2nd favourite Ardbeg. It's not as rich as the Uigeadail and not as high strength as the corry. But it has something unique. It's reminiscent of a well stored cigar. Its a wee nip of smooth sweet wood. For the price, can't fault it.

8th August 2020


Big fan of Ardbeg, usually stick with Uigeadail but have finally decided to try this one. Straight away forget people who are saying the 10 is better than this. It's not. There is another level of complexity and an unmistakably deeper flavour profile, whilst at the same time is a lot smoother, which makes it more pleasant and that makes a big difference. There is a more underlying dried fruit sweetness carried through this one but at the same time, which I find interesting has an aniseed mint note coming through, whilst holding the usual peat. Add in the salt and toffee vibe in the finish and to be honest, you're talking a top whisky. Right up there with Uigeadail. This is definitely more complex and rounded than expressions such as talisker 10 and lagavulin 16. Highly recommend.

11th July 2020

Fantastic, let it rest a while

I've just got back to my An Oa, after sitting for 6 months at a 1/2 gone in the bottle. I liked it before but now after resting in the opened bottle for a while it is now fantastic. All the nose and flavours are there but the Fresh punchiness has gone, now its so smooth on the nose and palate and so rounded and smooth all over, lovely smoke and fruits, and nice finish. Definitely worth opening taking a couple of drams then put it back in the cupboard and leave it for a while. Its taken on a whole new dimension, Fantastic!
(any original hammy ness has dissipated, which I think is good)

25th June 2020

Great value for a very special whisky

Such a well balanced whisky which benefits massively from 5mls of water in a double. Peat and distinctive sherry cask powerful taste in Absolute harmony.

22nd June 2020

Great idea.

This is a great idea from Ardbeg. Combining bourbon and sherry with the Ardbeg smoke will please an awful lot of whisky lovers. It’s a wonderful dram. It’s still says Ardbeg, and will be a success.

3rd June 2020

An oak’d Ardbeg.

Thanks to Brandan, went out and purchased this one. Glad I did as it pulls back from the peat of the 10 just enough to let the charred oak come through. For those coaxing the palette to the stronger campfire, this one is a perfect bridge.

8th March 2020

Smoke, leather, sherry, a power Ardbeg punch!

Leather box, tobacco leaves on the nose, huge sherry influence, with notes of fresh bourbon and virgin casks, this whisky is a cracker where you can smell fresh sultana raisins, smoke, gentle peat, and a complex taste like few others that ends in a long finish of a mixture of sherry and oak notes sticking to your palate. This is an excellent if not exceptional whisky and proud member of the Ardbeg family (more complexity, less in your face peat). Yes, it's more feminine than the 10 year old, but it adds much more complexity and mix of flavors ranging from sweets to smoky back to amazing European oak. Ardbeg An Oa was rated Best Single Malt Scotch NAS in 2019 at the International Whisky Competition with 95.3 points and it's well worth the taste and experience, a fair score in bling tasting, this is all in all a superb whisky designed with passion and vatted with care, I simply LOVE it!

22nd August 2019

Not the 10 year

It's quite good but will be a disappointment to anyone who's tried the excellent Ardbeg 10 year.

8th August 2019

Poor first impression.

First time trying Ardbeg. Love Talisker, Bruichladdich, Octomore, Laphroaig. This fell far short. Harsh and unenjoyable. Will try again sine I own the bottle, but not a good first impression.

9th March 2019

Very nice indeed

An excellent whisky in this price bracket . Lovely sweet undertones, a touch of peat and gentle smokiness
Very very good

16th February 2019

Dr. Os

One of the best whiskies i’ve ever tried in my life!

10th November 2018

Superb whisky

One of the best around better than a lot of the more expensive bottles from other distilleries

25th October 2018

Not impressed

I've had the 10yo, Ugi, Corry, and this one comes up poorly against those illustrious names (I'm yet to find a better whisky than the Ugi, at least within what I can afford).
The An Oa is sweeter and shows off heavier sherry influence than the Ugi but singularly lacks in complexity. It's closer to the the Laphroaig PX (which I loved), but again lacks the complexity. What kills it for me is the thin, watery mouthfeel. I also get more young spirit -y flavor in this than what I'd have preferred. Net-net, tastes like a marketing gimmick more than the quality I've come to associate with Ardberg. Sadly

25th September 2018

It's not the Corryvreckan and I'm fine with that.

Fine by me and it's got a little spank and I like to drink.

6th May 2018

Worst scotch experience.

Took one tiny sip tasted, horrible most disgusting bottle I have ever gotten. It smelled like plastic and took forever for me to get the taste out of my mouth.

28th April 2018

Smoke, sweet, enjoyable

It's not heaven, but close. Really enjoy this one. I enjoy this one more than 10 and uigie.

8th April 2018

Feel free to use it however you want.

Some scotches are like Rolls Royce. Some are like Ferraris. Some are like Aston Martins. The Ardbeg Ten is like a 427 Cobra: brutal, ugly and very very dangerous. It's my favorite scotch.

This OA is a Cobra Coupe, slightly less brutal and more pleasant to the eye.

18th March 2018

Perfect compliment

Just what Ardbeg needed to bridge the gap between Correy, Ugi, and the 10. What an incredible dram, smoke, wood, peat, bacon, and subtle sweet smoothness to finish it off? Bravo lads.

5th March 2018

Misses The Mark

This is not bad whisky, but, by Ardbeg standards (in my experience) it's not good. It strikes me as trying to be lower proof Uigeadail. Mouth feel is thin, an odd salinity, sugar water sweetness and lacks the intense spice and depth. Sure, there's some smoke and peat, but, it doesn't save it.

5th March 2018

Striking resemblance to Kilchoman Sanaig

Though quite within the Ardbeg line, it has an added oiliness and sweetness to it, benefit of the PX Sherry Casks. It is more complex and interesting than Ardbeg Ten.

Now, and very intriguingly, the An Oa has, to me, a striking resemblance to the Kilchoman Sanaig -- albeit without the internal struggle between the bourbon and sherry casks (presumably because of the predominance of the Oloroso sherry there) that makes the Sanaig a much more interesting whisky than the An Oa. Similar ABV and price range, as well, though here for a bigger bottle. In spite of sizing, I perhaps would still go for the Sanaig (though I might be biased towards Kilchoman -- such a classy young distillery!).

19th February 2018

It has alot of flavour but not as smoky as the 10-year

I really enjoy this newly added Ardbeg to their standard range.

8th February 2018

Absolutely fabulous

In blind tasting of Tallinn Whisky Club, Estonia, we voted An Oa to the top of our list of tastings from year 1998 (Corry, Uigeadail and 10YO are also in our top 10). Ardbeg's usual peated barley with perfect combination of three different casks make An Oa a bit darker and not very sweet, presumably because of charred cask. Yes, someone could complain that An Oa is younger than 10YO and more expensive but - it is worth the price. Thank you for proving that making an excellent whisky can take less than 10, 12, 15 or 25 years. The others should worry, not you :)

29th January 2018

A nice slightly sweeter take on the excellent 10 yr

A sidestep from the 10 year. Good for a change of pace. Somewhat sweet, still very smokey. If you like the 10 year you will definitely enjoy this.

28th January 2018

Taste differs in everyone, individuality separates us from machines.

I had this today. I’ve had a dram or 3 everyday for 20 years. Now just like food single malts are preferred by some & not by others. So 365 x 10 = 3650 x 2=7300. Different single malts at least”

All are have an individual colour, taste,finish,nose & palate.
I really enjoyed this,just like the other 7300. Some pretentious twat said should be enjoyed by the novices.
What an embarrassment you are. Different tastes in clothing,food,leisure time.

22nd January 2018

Poor. Ten year old every time

Very disapointed. Thin, my advice stick to ardbeg 10 year old, far superior

19th January 2018


I think Ardbeg were trying to add to their core bottlings in the same way Laphroaig were when they added select. They've succeeded. Unfortunately.

14th January 2018

Superb, but the 10yr old is still king o drinks.

Gold colour, legs slow to run, oily, waxy. Nose - smoke, cigar ash, chocolate, aniseed, orange, black pepper waxes and wanes as do most of the flavours, strongly tannic, dry to the nose. Palate - smokey, black pepper, cigar ash, orange, very tannic from the 8% tannin content of the Limousin Oak and the PX casks. Virgin wood comes through a little piney and resinous. Spicy clove cinnamon ginger nutmeg from the virgin wood . IMO some wine casking here, possibly Cabernet Sauvignon. Finish - smokey and dry, spicy, orange, very tannic, some background chocolate. Conclusion - best of the NAS Ultimate range IMO. Excellent blending of different cask types. A fantastic whisky. Proof, if it was needed that NAS whiskies can taste absolutely Devine. Better than Dark Cove, Corryvreckin or Uigedail, all of which IMO are great whiskies, but this latest addition is superb.

16th December 2017

Instant favourite

If you are into Ardbeg, you will indeed like this whiskey. I didn't much go for the Kelpie, but I feel like An Oa is simply wonderful. Still has the peat, but more sweetness, and the ABV is more along the lines of a normal whiskey.

Glad this is now part of the core range, otherwise, I would be tempted to buy and collect a lot of it. I wouldn't be surprised to see the price rise on it though.

13th December 2017


I think this may be the best Ardbeg since "the Beist!" (of which it reminds me more than a little). An absolute steal at the price.

30th November 2017

Very Nice

Now I am a very big fan of Ardbeg with both oogie and corry being 2 of my all time favorites. This is something different for sure but really quite excellent. Definitely peppery, creamy ,milk chocolate is quite prevalent as well,lots of black tea, classic Ardbeg peat and seaweed character. I only wish this was cask strength. It's not oogie or corry but it is certainly Ardbeg.
The Sugarbear

19th November 2017

Burnt wood and ash

Definitely prefer lagavulin or an aged glenalmostanything over this. Reminds me of a burnt talisker or barely drinkable jonnie walker double black. Maybe dilution and breathing helps, but much more experimentation than planned will be needed to kill this bottle.

18th November 2017

100% full of Ardbeg character

Smooth, peppery, creamy sweetness. Almost in the middle of a classic 10 year old and Uigeadil, constantly pulling in both directions.

Became even better after letting it sit for a while in a nosing class.

10th November 2017

Really great whisky

Ardbeg quality as always. Less peat but great balance. A must buy.

26th October 2017


Not a great whisky. Too sweet. Lacks balance, subtlety. May impress a novice.

17th October 2017

Definitely An Ardbeg. Oa so delicious.

If you like sweet Islay peat, particularly Ardbeg's other 'Ultimate' whiskeys, do yourself a favour and get a bottle of this. Don't be scared by the mention of peat if you've had other smokey whiskeys that weren't to your liking, here the smoke is by no means overpowering because it's so well balanced, and provides so much luscious sweetness.

Any reviewer who comments that this is overpriced because it has NAS shows their ignorance. Not to mention falling for one of the biggest marketing ploys used by distillers to sell whiskey. Garbage that's been sitting in an oak barrel for 30 years will still come out as garbage, so to presume that time in the barrel means better flavour or complexity is a load of crap. I've tasted plenty of AS whiskeys over 25 years old that cost a fortune and tasted worse and more one dimensional than plenty of 10 year old whiskeys. You could argue that the benefit of NAS is that the distiller can pull the whiskey when it's at its best, rather than having to leave it in the barrel a specific time to put an AS on the bottle.

Some examples of incredible NAS whiskey's, which An Oa sits in the company of, that I'd put up against any AS whiskey regardless of age are Ardbeg's other 'Ultimate' range (Uigeadail, Corryvreckan), Aberlour A'bunadh, Glenfarclas 105.

7th October 2017

Needs to breathe

This needs to sit in the glass and good 15 mins after pouring to access the full range of aromas and flavours. Ardbeg signatures stick out like a sore thumb and whilst it's enjoyable I'd rather have the 10 any day. It's a poor man's uigeadail and to be honest you'll be more satisfied spending the little extra and getting that. Still a fantastic dram though

2nd October 2017

It's An Ardbeg All Right

If you know your islay's, you could definately pick this out in a blind test as Ardbeg. Ive tried most of them and still getting to know An Oa, but what ive found so far i like, and think its nearest to Oogy than any of the other Ardbeg expressions, & if i had to choose, i give this 9/10 & Oogy 10/10, purely on the fact that this is a tad 'lighter' and im one for as much sherry cask punch as possible.

2nd October 2017

Awesomely smooth

I already have corryvreckan and I love it's depth and mysterious taste of darkness and small smoke. AN OA is smother which is nice if you want to tone things down slightly whilst still enjoying the smoke. Great value to.

30th September 2017

An Oa so Ardbeg whiskey. Brilliant!

If you like Ardbeg's other 'ultimate' whiskeys, you'll love this. The type of whiskey that makes drams you thought were alright taste one dimensional and bland in comparison. Love the apple seed and peaty sweetness. Bought my second bottle while half way through the first.

27th September 2017

Must buy

Absaloutly superb, if you like ardbeg you will love this. Definitely a must buy for peat lovers although the peat is not very heavy like other ardbeg this has layers of flavour that with every sip unravels more layers.

27th September 2017

I concur...

I must agree with the other 5 star ratings here. I've been an Ardbeg lover for many years and this is a truly worthy addition to the family.

26th September 2017

New convert

I am new to peated whiskies, but this one is my favorite so far. Ticks all the boxes and more. Loads of flavour without being overpowering. Just love it.

25th September 2017


Really creamy and great eucalyptus smoke. Perfect balance. A very welcome addition.

23rd September 2017

Great surprise

I saw some other reviews and was a little hesitant, but still went ahead and wasn't disappointed at all. True Ardbeg, with a slightly lighter character, my new favorite pre dinner whisky.

22nd September 2017

Tasty new Ardbeg

Another Ardbeg! And not a bad price. Uigeadail is still my fave, but can definitely see adding this to my stable of peat bombs. Bottle says that they are marrying in vats, so sounds kind of like a solera situation.

21st September 2017

Amazing An Oa!

Amazing amazing stuff! Truly epic whisky :-)

21st September 2017

Oh yes

What a great addition to the Ardbeg line up. Really enjoyable and quaffable, yet a serious whisky. I'm sure this one attract many new Ardbeg lovers.

21st September 2017


Barely drinkable.

21st September 2017


Definitely aimed at attracting a different kind of whisky lover. Slightly lighter and less smoky. yet very satisfaying and complex. Reminds a little of the very lovely Dark Cove. Ardbeg quality at a good price.

Please only take note of reviews where someone actually tasted the whisky, unlike the reviewer below who clearly hasn't. What a dull cry for help.

21st September 2017

Oa the hills and far away!

I cant get Oa the price of an Nas whisky after the Ardbeg perpetuum debacle i wont be buying Ardbeg any time soon.....i will stick to the little i have left of 77 78 and guaranteed 30!

14th September 2017

Layer cake of smells and flavours.

The initial smell of subtle menthol, sweet breakfast cereal and a touch of peat, transforms into incredible sweetness with the addition of water/ice, with strong scents of artificial cherry and toffee apple. Tastes is oily, sweet breakfast cereal, subtle peaty smoke and cherry flavouring. Lingering oily finish and sweet, smokey BBQ sauce. Smooth and very moorish. Probably one of the best whiskey's I've experienced. On par with Uigeadail for it's complexity.

6th September 2017

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