Come one, come all – it is nearly time for the annual whisky day celebration that perplexes, baffles and pleases whisky lovers alike: Ardbeg Day!
Every year, the cult whisky company opens its doors on Islay on the last day of the Feis Ile festival with people attending from all over the globe to snatch up a bottle of the limited edition festival bottling.
This year, that bottle is called Ardbog. And so, this year’s celebrations on the 1 June have been renamed as ‘Ardbog Day‘.
Outside of the open day on Islay, parties will also be happening globally at various Ardbeg embassies (namely, specialist whisky stockists) and in city centres.
In London this year, I have been promised that Ardbog Day will be celebrated in true random style. At 10am, a march begins at Monument Station, and Ardbeg aficionados will be accompanied by an Ardbeg chopper, a tractor and a flock of flying sheep. Yes, they’ve promised flying sheep. My intrigue has been heightened!
After the hour long march to Potters Field Park (just south of the river across from Tower Bridge) there will be music from Sophie Sweet and Her November Criminals, the chance to dig peat for prizes and throw wellies and the opportunity to participate in “events involving live sheep”…
Those who are fans of Ardbeg (to be fair, why would you march through London on a Saturday morning accompanied by a tractor if you weren’t?) there will also be drams of Ardbeg and the limited edition release of Ardbog.
I have been lucky enough to receive a wee sample of the new edition and can tell you, ardent Ardbeg fans will be chuffed with it and the review follows below.
Now, if you’re not in London, there will be events in many another spot. For more information, head to the company’s Ardbog Day website.
And, if you’re not near to any events but are near some sheep or wellies, feel free to throw them around – well, maybe not the sheep, but the wellies…definitely the wellies. Just make sure you’ve got a dram of Ardbeg to hand!
As to the special Ardbog Day whisky, here is what I made of it:
Ardbog Day: Special Release 2013: 52.1%:
(C): Golden brown sugar
(N): At first, a nutty spun sugar note, mixed with wine barrel scent and cigars on a beach. It’s sweeter than I would have anticipated. There also a bit of melting butter which adds backbone to the back note. With water, the smoke dissipates further and the buttery, sugar notes increased for me. There’s a teeny note of something chlorine like too. I found it more appealing with a dash of water, personally.
(P): Quite a floral, citric hit to begin – neat, there is definitely a strength that pulls a punch. A slight woodiness and tannic dryness that comes through on the second sip with the addition of peanuts and ash. With water, the dryness evens out and it has a creamier texture. There’s a light, cotton candy sweetness in the back and the smoke becomes slightly more citrussy.
(F): Honeyed cashews in an ashtray. With water, popcorn and cigarettes.
In conclusion, while I’m not a big peathead this is very intriguing and elegant. It has a great complexity and changes nicely with water. The lovely honey and slightly fresher citrus notes I came across weaved magically with those heavy-duty smokey Ardbeg notes to create a classy dram indeed.
For more information on Arbeg here to: www.ardbeg.com