The news about Ardbeg brewing something new broke as early as April this year. That something was supposed to be called Twenty Something and be aged 23 years. The news just got confirmed – Ardbeg Twenty Something 23yo is ready to meet the distillery fans.
The whisky, bottled exclusively for Ardbeg Committee members, is meant to commemorate the times when Ardbeg distilled only sporadically – the 1980s and 1990s. At the time, the two distilleries belonging to Allied Distillers – Ardbeg and Laphroaig – were capable of satisfying the demand for smoky, bold, peaty whisky that the island is famous for. The ever decreasing demand of the time meant that production had to be slowed down at first, and eventually forced the owners to choose one that would be closed down entirely. It was Ardbeg that was to suffer the fate. The distillery had to wait until 1997, when it was taken over by a more foreseeing and entrepreneurial owners, namely Glenmorangie plc.
The new whisky, that is going to be available to the Ardbeg Committee members soon, is a marriage of ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry casks that were filled in those dark times when fire under the Ardbeg stills was lit only from time to time. It was bottled without chill-filtering, with no caramel colouring, at 46.3% vol. According to the official note from the distillery current owner, Moët Hennessy, it is meant as a kind of tribute to the Ardbeg fans, a thank you for their ongoing support and making sure that the door to Ardbeg never closes again.
The sale of Ardbeg Twenty Something 23yo is planned for 2nd November – through the distillery’s official website (ardbeg.com). A bottle will cost £430. Despite a rather high price one can expect Ardbeg to be sold out instantaneously on the same day, possibly even within a quarter of an hour. It has happened before, so why not now? Especially that the Ardbeg Committee has some 120 thousand members the world over.
Distilled in the historic still that is now displayed in front of the distillery, the whisky – according to dr. Bill Lumsden – is loaded with rich and deep flavours, “with an incredibly smoky, silky quality.”
It is still unclear whether Twenty Something is a one-off release, or there are more trumps hidden up Ardbeg’s sleeve – in the form of similar aged expressions from the times when the distillery’s existence was on the brink.
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