Whisky Focus - Dr Bill Lumsden Named Master Distiller of the Year

Dr Bill Lumsden Named Master Distiller of the Year

7th August 2019
Glenmorangie and Ardbeg whisky creator Dr Bill Lumsden has been named ‘Master Distiller of the Year’ and to mark the award he has selected two single cask whisky's, Glenmorangie Cask 388 and Ardbeg Cask 5824.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie and Ardbeg whisky creator, IWC Master Distiller of the Year 2019.

Glenmorangie and Ardbeg’s whisky creator, Dr Bill Lumsden, has been named ‘Master Distiller of the Year’ for an unprecedented third time at the International Whisky Competition 2019 awards and the good news for whisky fans is that the award has inspired Dr Bill to handpick a couple single casks, one from each distillery's warehouses, to share with them.

The special single cask whisky's which Dr Bill has chosen are Ardbeg Cask 5824 and Glenmorangie Cask 388.

Glenmorangie Cask 388

Glenmorangie Cask 388 is a lightly peated single cask whisky which Dr Bill describes as having reached its peak of perfection. Distilled in the Glenmorangie's whisky’s signature stills, the tallest in Scotland, its spirit was laid down on 12 November 2004 and has been aged for 14 years in a single, first-fill bourbon cask, designed to deliver a deeper, richer whisky. Non chill-filtered and bottled at 56.1% ABV it is said to bring a smoky twist to Glenmorangie’s citrus style.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Colour: Steely gold

Nose: Lively and fragrant, with hints of smoked honey, pears, almonds and a distinctive note of beeswax, followed by more gentle, herbal smoke. With water, wax crayons, daffodils and double cream fill the nose – and finally, signature Glenmorangie scents of vanilla, pear and mandarin orange shine through.

Taste: A particularly peppery mouthfeel leads to a vibrant burst of grapefruit, lemon sherbet, aniseed and smoked peaches, smothered with rich vanilla cream.

Finish: Lingering notes of creamy vanilla, pear and almond contrast with deep layers of oak, aniseed and more smoked fruits.

Glenmorangie Cask 388 is a limited release of 251 bottles which have been hand-signed by Dr Bill and it is only available only at the Glenmorangie distillery, priced £650.

Ardbeg Cask 5824

Ardbeg Cask 5824 was laid down in a single first-fill bourbon barrel on 24 December, 2007 – Christmas Eve. Matured on Ardbeg’s remote island home for 11 years, Cask 5824 was bottled earlier this summer. Non chill-filtered and bottled at 56% ABV, it is said to have reached its smoky-sweet best.

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Colour: Bright golden glow

Nose: On the nose, powerful flourishes of wax and leather combine with subtle saddle soap and a sharp, zesty top note. As more complex aromas develop, delicate floral notes like lavender and violet come to the fore. With a few drops of water, this sumptuous dram releases more classic Ardbeg notes such as tar, walnut, pine resin and peat bonfires.

Taste: A surprisingly silky mouthfeel gently leads your palate towards an explosion of deep, nutty flavours in walnut and clove. Heavy creosote, leather and tar notes intensify, but are delicately tempered by soft, creamy vanilla – reminiscent of Ardbeg-flavoured ice-cream.

Finish: A long, lingering finish of salty sea spray, peat and smoke reminds you of this whisky’s Islay pedigree.

Ardbeg Single Cask Dinners

Ardbeg fans are being invited to taste Cask 5824 at a series of single cask dinners on Islay, held on August 10, September 10 and October 10. For a truly Ardbeggian experience, visitors can join the Ardbeg team after hours for a backstage walk around the Distillery, a tasting of rare whiskies, including Cask 5824, and an intimate dinner in the Old Kiln Café, with some of the team who make Ardbeg. There is also the opportunity to buy a bottle of this rare whisky, each signed by Distillery Manager Mickey Heads. Tickets cost £130 per person, with limited places available. To book, email distillery@ardbeg.com or call +44 (0) 1496 302244.

Ardbeg Cask 5824 is a limited release of 245 bottles and it is only available only at the Ardbeg distillery, priced £650.

Dr Bill, commented on the the  ‘Master Distiller of the Year’ award and the two whiskies he has selected to mark the award, saying: "I’m honoured by such praise from the IWC and hope fans of great whisky will join the celebration by enjoying these rare single casks. Glenmorangie’s Cask 388 will delight with its creamy vanilla layers and an intriguing hint of smoke. And the sumptuous Cask 5824 from Ardbeg is filled with delicious contrasts – deep, nutty tastes softened by hints of Ardbeg ice-cream, sea spray and peat."

You will also find the current Glenmorangie and Ardbeg whisky ranges available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

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