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Ardbeg An Oa Review

Ardbeg An Oa Review

Distilled & Bottled by Ardbeg

Region: Islay

Type: Single Malt

ABV: 46.6%

Age: NAS

Color: gold/hay

An Oa is named after the Mull of Oa which is a rocky peninsula that protects, among other things, the Ardbeg distillery from the full brunt of the Atlantic’s fury. The whisky itself is a vatting of ex-bourbon, virgin and Pedro Ximenez casks and is bottled at 46.6% proof without chill-filtration. As far as I can tell, there has been no added coloring either.

Tasting Notes


Nose: Initial scents of barley and yeast notes couple with some salt spray and drying seaweed. cooked onion and a gentle waft of smoke remind you this is a peated dram. The more I sniff it, the more everything turns into butterscotch candy too.

Palate: The whisky is light on the palate and a continuation of that sweet butterscotch note from the nose. Additional notes of syrup and a touch of melon give way to more light smoke as the session goes on.

Finish: Medium in length, the finish starts as chocolate and honey before pepper and burnt wood add a nice bite of spice to the finish

Rating: 6/10

Conclusion: This is solid whisky and works well as a daily sipper but if you approach An Oa as a proofed down version of Uigeadail, you might be disappointed.

Uigeadail has a much heavier sherry influence to me, and its higher proof gives it more weight on the palate and a longer finish. Instead, I find An Oa to be more bourbon and virgin oak forward.

It blends in some pleasant sweet notes with nice spice and some smoke but overall it is a much less aggressive pour that should be judged on its own.


1-3| No
4| Sub-par
5| Good
6| Very Good
7| Great
8| Excellent
9| Incredible
10| Unsurpassable

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John S. Pritchett

Friday 5th of May 2023

When I opened my bottle of Ardbeg An Oa and took a sniff, it smelled like creosote. I took a sip and the creosote smell and taste were strong. I went ahead and drank some and later I got a headache. I'm pouring the rest down the drain.