ARDBEG LAUNCHES KELPIE TO CELEBRATE ARDBEG DAY
Ardbeg is set to bring Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt to a close on Ardbeg Day, the global celebration of the single malt’s untamed spirit.
Ardbeg Day falls on Saturday, 3rd June 2017. This year, in homage to the sea that surrounds the Distillery’s remote Scottish island home, Ardbeg will again release a celebratory Limited Edition expression. Ardbeg Kelpie is the first Ardbeg to be matured in Virgin Black Sea oak casks. Renowned for the deep flavours that they impart and rarely used in whisky making – these casks bring a distinct intensity to the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt whisky.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks, in his continuing search for intriguing casks, was inspired by the depth of flavour imparted by the Black Sea casks. Grown and seasoned in the Adyghe Republic, which leads down to the Black Sea coast, these casks impart incredibly deep flavours.
The whisky was then married with hallmark Ardbeg, matured in ex-bourbon barrels, to amplify Ardbeg’s characteristic style and create a whisky of incredible depth.
As the festivities begin on Islay, Ardbeg’s loyal following – the Ardbeg Committee – and their friends across the world will be invited to join underwater-themed events which pay tribute to the whisky’s namesake – the kelpie, this legendary water demon is said to lurk in the Atlantic Ocean off Islay’s shores.
Distillery Manager Michael (Mickey) Heads said: “Ardbeggians and their smoky malt friends will have the chance to celebrate with a dram or two of Ardbeg Kelpie. With a heart matured in Black Sea casks, this whisky’s extraordinary depth and its waves of salty seaweed and tarry rope, hint at what might be hiding under the sea…”
“For now, the finer details of our plans for will remain a closely guarded secret, but rest assured Ardbeg Day 2017 will be another legendary worldwide celebration of all things Ardbeg.”
Ardbeg’s general release of Kelpie at 46% ABV, launches on Ardbeg Day (3rd June), the expression will be available to purchase from Ardbeg Embassies* for a two week exclusive period. Kelpie will then be available at Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists and department stores with a RRP of £98.00.
The Committee only release of Kelpie at 51.7% ABV will be made available on 16th March 2017 at 9.00AM, exclusively from www.ardbeg.com/
Ardbeg Day will be celebrated at the distillery on Saturday 3rd June 2017 and at participating Ardbeg Embassies around the world.
Ardbeg Kelpie is non-chill filtered for extra texture and mouthfeel.
#ardbeg #untamed #islay
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Ardbeg Kelpie tasting notes at 46% ABV:
Colour: Burnished gold
Aroma: A wonderful, intense, ‘dancing’ nose, with lots of different, intertwined aromas – powerful, oily peat, dark chocolate, smoked fish, hints of seaweed, and a curious, sharp herbal note. Waves of spicy black pepper.
A splash of water brings forth some classic Ardbeg notes, such as creamy coffee, smoked fudge and pine resin. Even some hints of smoked coconut.
Taste: A peppery mouthfeel is followed by a crescendo of rich flavours. Treacle toffee, Turkish coffee, smoky bacon and lots of dark, dark chocolate. A curious burst of peachy, estery fruit, hickory wood, clove oil and a suggestion of black olives.
Finish: Seemingly lasting forever, with deep, deep, almost subterranean flavours of clove, tar, and rich toffee.
Every year, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music takes place in May or June on Ardbeg’s island home. On the Festival’s final Saturday, Ardbeg Day, the Distillery traditionally throws open its doors to welcome fans from all over the world. In 2012 Ardbeg Day became a global event, enabling the whisky’s passionate international following to take part in a worldwide celebration of all things Ardbeg in their own country. Recent Ardbeg Day themes have included the Islay-limpics and the Peat Football World Cup, while in 2015, Ardbeg Day celebrated the single malt’s 200th anniversary by looking forward 200 years to a retro-futuristic version of Islay in 2215. For 2016, Ardbeg Day became Ardbeg Night, as fans at 215 events across the globe recalled Islay’s dark past as a smugglers’ haunt.
Ardbeg Kelpie is a limited-edition bottling created to celebrate Ardbeg Day 2017. It is the Distillery’s first whisky with a heart matured in virgin oak from the Black Sea coast. Renowned for imparting incredibly deep flavour notes, only a handful of whiskies have ever been matured in these Black Sea casks. Married with hallmark ex-bourbon Ardbeg, it results in a whisky of incredible depth, which tells of its ties to the Black Sea and the waves of flavour its casks have created.
Situated on the shore of Islay’s southernmost coast, the Ardbeg Distillery has always held a deep connection to the sea – and those who live nearby have passed down through generations the stories of mysterious beasts said to live beneath the waves. Among the most terrifying of these is the kelpie – a Scottish shape-shifting water spirit, rumoured to take the form of a horse or a bull and prey on unwitting travellers. Legend has it that long ago, a farmer walking near Ardbeg’s shoreline was almost dragged to sea by a water bull. Managing to overcome and rope the creature, he locked it in a barn where it cried for mercy. At dusk, the farmer’s daughter was chased by a water horse seeking revenge for its kin. The terrified girl ran to the barn and released the water bull, whereupon the malevolent beasts took flight back to the sea.
Ardbeg is The Ultimate Islay Single 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.
The legacy of the 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 more than 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.
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.
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.
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.