‘BLAAACK SHEEP’ OF ISLAY ROUNDS UP FANS FOR VIRTUAL ARDBEG DAY – Scotch Whisky News

‘BLAAACK SHEEP’ OF ISLAY ROUNDS UP FANS FOR VIRTUAL ARDBEG DAY

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee and this year’s Limited Edition, Ardbeg Blaaack

Usually held on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle), Ardbeg Day is a global, annual celebration of all things Ardbeg. This year, with the festival sadly cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Ardbeg is taking its celebrations online, and inviting malt whisky lovers everywhere to join them as they toast two incredible decades of the Ardbeg Committee.

The Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials will be broadcast on 30 May 2020 via Facebook to Ardbeg fans around the world. The two-hour programme of tastings, games, and entertainment is in celebration of the Ardbeg Committee’s 20th Anniversary (founded in the year 2000). It takes as its theme the Limited Edition bottled in their honour, Ardbeg Blaaack: a single malt which knits together flavours of velvety summer fruit pudding and bitter cherry, with a deeper edge of soot and Ardbeg’s hallmark smoke.

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, said: “We were looking forward to marking Ardbeg Day this year with our dyed-in-the-wool fans here at the Distillery, and at celebrations around world. Sadly, global events overtook us.

“However, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a back-up plan to keep our Committee Members entertained, safe at home. I’ll be shepherding the Ardbeg team in an online extravaganza instead – expect tastings of some much-loved whiskies, fun, blether, and maybe even a few Blaaack-inspired surprises.”

You can tune into the Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials from 7pm BST on Ardbeg’s Facebook page, with content available to watch later on Ardbeg.com, Instagram and YouTube. Ardbeg Blaaack will be available to buy from www.ardbeg.com, Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, and online retailers around the world from 30 May 2020, although distribution may be a bit delayed in some markets due to the current Coronavirus restrictions.

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NOTES:

What is a Whisky Trial?

We’ve taken our inspiration for the Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials from the rural tradition of Sheepdog Trials. A Sheepdog Trial is a competitive dog sport in which herding dogs move sheep around a field, fences, gates, or enclosures as directed by their handlers. We won’t be herding any whisky lovers, but we may have some tests of agility as part of our programme of events…

Aroma: On the nose baked fruit pudding knits together seamlessly with cedar wood and aromatic cigar box. Oak tannins and rich truffles then break away to reveal subtle notes of smoky jam tart.

With a splash of water, intense aromas of bitter cherry and a curiously zesty note emerges. Naturally, this dram then travels in a different direction with lovely fragrant violet notes.

Taste: A velvety and surprisingly furry mouthfeel drives your palate into a complex symphony of contrasting flavours. Aniseed, soot and summer fruits – such as cherries, strawberries, apricots and pears – give way to crumbly pastry, dark chocolate, coffee and almonds.

Finish: A long, lingering sooty finish.

Casks:             Pinot Noir

ABV:                46%

Colour:          Deep cherry blossom

RRP: £94 

Ardbeg:

Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky.  Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as 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’.  During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction.  Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.  

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee (1 January 2000).  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.  The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at ardbeg.com.

Awards:

Ardbeg is the world’s most highly awarded smoky single malt whisky.  Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in key whisky competitions.  Ardbeg was voted ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’ twice by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible (2008, 2009) and has twice been awarded ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards (2010, 2013).  At the 2014 Global Icons of Whisky Awards, Mickey Heads was voted ‘Distillery Manager of the Year’.  The following year, Ardbeg’s expressions took the top three spots in Whisky Advocate magazine’s review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100.  Meanwhile, both Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail have been awarded gold medals at the 2016 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, while the Ardbeg Distillery was declared the Distillery of the Year 2019.

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible drinking and suggest that drinkers savour Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

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