Members of the Ardbeg clan are looking forward to celebrating Ardbeg Day on June 4th. Held annually on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle) which begins this year on May 28th, Ardbeg Day is a global celebration of all things Ardbeg. The famous distillery invites smoky malt whisky lovers to discover “the lairs of flavor,” raise a glass to a dragon and “a dram of fantastical proportions, and indulge in some of its NFT (non-fungible token) single malt whisky, two casks aged in second-fill bourbon which was buried for nearly three years in a peat bog on the famous Scottish Hebridean whisky island
The whisky’s name, Ardbeg Fon Fhòid, means ‘under the turf’ in Scottish Gaelic. Bottled at 45.5% ABV, Ardbeg Fon Fhòid is priced at £2,600 (US$3,105). Ardbeg’s head of distilling and whisky creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, said: “I think it’s safe to say we’ve unearthed a truly special Ardbeg here. Ardbeg Fon Fhòid is earthy and mossy with one hell of a herbal nose.
Ardbeg Fon Fhòid is limited to 456 bottles, which will be available to purchase exclusively on blockbar.com at 10 am EST on 19 April. Bottles will be stored at Block Bar’s facility in Singapore until they’re redeemed. Ardbeg has also released a limited-edition single malt Ardcore to mark the return of the famous festival of high spirits which has been virtual for the last two years. It will begin and end in the traditional way with festive first and final Flings!
Ardbeg’s “Scorch” is named after a mythological flavor-breathing beast dwelling in Dunnage Warehouse No. 3, scorching staves and burning barrels and giving Arberg its distinctive taste.
The famous distillery, established in 1815 and now owned by The Glenmorangie Company, produces the peatiest, smokiest, and most complex of all the Islay malts. Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.
The legacy of the world’s most highly awarded whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee. The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”.
Today there are more than 100,000 members of the Ardbeg Committee in over 130 countries. Committee members are regularly consulted on new bottlings and expressions and are offered exclusive Committee bottlings. Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings, and events.
Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail have been awarded gold medals at San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2019, Dr. Bill Lumsden was awarded Master Distiller of the Year for the third time in four years. Ardbeg 10 Years Old also won the Best Single Malt Scotch 10-Year-Old at the International Whisky Competition 2019. The west Scotland distillery also unveiled its first rye cask-matured whisky – “Arrrrrrdbeg”, in tribute to recently retired distillery manager Mickey Heads. The bottle design depicts Heads as a salty seadog and was created by Brazilian artist and graphic designer Butcher Billy. Heads commented: “It was an absolute pleasure to spend the last 13 years heading the crew at the greatest distillery on earth. I had the best team of people anyone could wish for and I’m proud that we’ve been responsible for producing so many wonderful Ardbegs along the way. “As for this bottling, well I’m honored that a place that has already given me so much would celebrate my retirement in such a thoughtful way. And to have my image on a bottle, that’s a dream come true. Bottled at 51.8% ABV, Arrrrrrrdbeg! is priced at US$198 per bottle.
Feis Ile is one of Scotland’s biggest whisky festivals with a diverse program featuring traditional music, ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, bowling, and, most importantly, whisky appreciation. The festival goes back to 1984 when a committee was formed to revive the Gaelic Language & Culture. The Fèis Ìle evolved originally from a drama festival. Carnival Queen is chosen from each of Islay’s parishes – Kildalton, Kilarrow, and Kilmeny & the Rhinns.
In 1990 the first whisky tasting event took place which was won by a local, Dougie McDougall. The current festival chairperson Florence Grey was runner-up. All the Islay distillers and whisky makers– Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Portnahaven, Bunnahabhain, Kilchoman, Ardnahoe, and Bowmore hold open days during the festival. Slainte malt!
SUNDAY 29th MAY
MONDAY 30th MAY
Isle of Islay Gin
TUESDAY 31st MAY
WEDNESDAY 1st JUNE
THURSDAY 2nd JUNE
Islay Whisky Academy Open Day – Portnahaven
FRIDAY 3rd JUNE
Deer Island Rum