Ardbeg Distillery has released a new limited edition of rare whiskies that reflects aspects of its early history. The unique collection constitutes two distinct expressions and is dubbed the Rollercoaster.
Notably, the limited edition only released 143 sets drawn from two rare cask single malt of a historic Ardbeg valued at over £85,000. The first was originally distilled in 1981 during the temporary closing of the distillery. Most people at that time doubted that the Ardbeg would ever produce whisky again. This bottle is reflective of the darkest hours of the company’s history.
The second bottle of the Rollercoaster set represents the newfound hope that revived the Ardbeg Distillery in 1989. The cask was the first to be laid after reopening the distillery that year. A little bit over 42 years, the inspiration lives in this bottle. Together, the 1981 cask and 1989 cask, are witness to the strength of The Ardbeg spirit in surviving under all conditions.
The Ardbeg Rollercoaster Limited Edition Set
Ever since its inception in 1815, on the remote Scottish island of Islay, Ardbeg won the reputation and fame as home to the world’s smokiest drams. It was aged in bourbon casks, then transferred into an Oloroso sherry cask for rich, spicy notes. Celebrating Ardbeg’s 1989 revival, this is one of the last casks left from that year.
‘‘Ardbeg The Rollercoaster is a unique opportunity for collectors to experience two very different tastes of Ardbeg’s heritage, and acquire a set of bottlings with an incredible story,’’ said Ardbeg’s Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden.
‘‘The 1981 expression was made from some of the last malts ever to emerge from our maltings as Ardbeg teetered on the brink of closure. It is a beautiful combination of sweet and spicy sherried notes and hints of Ardbeg’s savory side. ”
After tasting the final release, Simon Deals added: ‘I find the 1981 whisky unusually mentholic and cooling, and the 1989 particularly elegant and reserved. Both are fascinating representations of highly significant years in Ardbeg’s history.’