Ardbeg has unveiled its limited-edition Fèis Ìle festival whisky, Ardcore. The Scotch will make its official debut on Ardbeg Day, which is held once a year on the final Saturday of Islay’s annual Festival of Music and Malt, which will be held from May 27 to June 4.
Ardbeg Ardcore is a no-age-statement single malt Scotch whisky made from dark roasted malted barley–a first for the distillery. The bottling draws inspiration from the brand’s punk past, with Islay’s main port, Port Ellen, going by the nickname ‘Punk Ellen’ in the 1970s.
Ardbeg’s head of distilling and whisky creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, described the whisky as tasting “like biting on a spiky ball.” Adding, “Ardcore is a dram that wears its heart on its sleeve – its black heart! Created with roasted black malt, burnt to hair-raising levels, this spirit is all about substance. Notes of charcoal and sweet smoke make for an in-your-face nose, while potent notes of aniseed and dark chocolate stamp this bottle out as one fit only for the most Ardcore of fans.”
On the nose, the whisky showcases spiciness. It’s a veritable ”moshpit in the glass with nuances of marmite, charred toast and black chicory coffee,” says the brand. “Like a safety pin in the nose, the typical Ardbeg herbal notes are present, while smoky notes of blazing campfire and molasses buzz in the background.” The palate’s spicy and fiery taste ignites with more rich and smoky flavors. Cocoa powder, dark chocolate, peanut toffee, smoked lime and hints of soot and campfire embers arrive in unison with anise and malt biscuits coming to the fore and riveting through all taste buds. The finish runs sweet with long-lasting notes of toffee, soot and smoke, which provide “an anarchic, exquisite aftertaste.”
This year’s Ardbeg Day (4 June) will feature festivities at the distillery, as well as online and at local events worldwide. Fans traveling to Islay can look forward to “rocktails, a tattoo parlor and live punk music.”
“This year will be my first physical Ardbeg Day. We know not everybody can make it to Islay, so we’re delighted to be broadcasting all the day’s antics online too,” said Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s distillery manager. “Whether at the distillery or at home, we hope lots of you rock up, punked out and ready to party come 4 June.”
Bottled at 46% ABV, the whisky will be available to buy from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers and from the distillery visitor center, for £100 ($131 USD).
For more information, head over to Ardbeg’s official website.
Earlier this year, the distillery launched Ardbeg Fermutation, the result of an unplanned experiment that resulted in the longest fermentation in the brand’s history.
For the 2021 Fèis Ìle festival, Ardbeg launched a limited-edition Scorch bottling.