Whisky Focus - Ardbeg 8 Year Old Committee Release

Ardbeg 8 Year Old Committee Release

1st July 2021
The Ardbeg Distillery invites its weird and wonderful Committee to join the conversation on their youthful new malt the Ardbeg 8 Year Old Committee Release.

Ardbeg 8 Year Old Committee ReleaseArdbeg today launched the next instalment of their Committee exclusive bottlings, this time up Ardbeg whisky fans are being treated to a youthful Ardbeg 8 Year Old expression which has been matured in ex-Sherry casks.

Said to be a smokier Ardbeg, but balanced by ex-Sherry casks it has been bottled at what must be a flavoursome 50.8% ABV and is priced at £57 plus £8 postage.

As the Ardbeg whisky fans amongst you will already know these Ardbeg Committee releases are usually very limited and can be like hens teeth to get a hold of but I think on this occasion Ardbeg are looking to spread the word about their Committee and they are calling for smoky whisky fans to sign up to the smoke loving Ardbeg Committee which is free to join and grab themselves a bottle if they want or simply join in the chat.

This ‘For Discussion’ release started out as a thought experiment by Master Distiller Dr Bill Lumsden. As he sampled Ardbeg casks at different ages, he found new dimensions of smoky flavour in the spirit. He asked himself: What if, in an alternative universe, Ardbeg Ten Years Old was not the Distillery’s ‘flagship’ aged expression? Perhaps a new whisky, smokier, but balanced by ex-Sherry casks, could be a worthy centrepiece to the Ardbeg core range?

This hypothesis is what gave birth to Ardbeg 8 Years Old For Discussion. So now the time has now come for the Distillery to pose a question to their Committee Members… How does it taste? Ardbeg wants to hear what their fans have to say. So, they’re inviting Members both old and new to buy, try, then hop online to kickstart the conversation about their new malt.

Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: "Ardbeg 8 Years Old is a delectable, young and curious whisky – I like to think of it as the ‘alternative universe’ version of Ardbeg Ten Years Old. An aged ex-Sherry whisky is new territory for us, so naturally, we want some thoughts! We’re sharing this with the Committee’s experienced palates to help us find that smoky sweet spot. With notes of bold peat smoke, creosote, charcoal and salted caramel, it’s more than guaranteed to provoke discussion among those privileged enough to taste it."

Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager, said: "If there’s one thing we know about Ardbeggians, it’s that they’re an eclectic mix of people – whisky-mad and up for anything. But they’re all bonded by one shared passion – smoky Ardbeg malt. We look forward to hearing their thoughts on our latest expression. And, to anybody not already part of the family, we invite you to join the Ardbeg Committee… and join in the conversation!”

To celebrate the launch of Ardbeg 8, Distillery Manager Colin Gordon will host a private online tasting for Committee Members only on 30th July 2021. The Ardbeg Committee is free to join at Ardbeg.com/committee and if you are quick you may just be in time to grab yourself a bottle of the Ardbeg 8 Year Old Committee Release.

You will also find the increasingly impressive selection of Ardbeg whiskies which make up the Ardbeg core range available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, Amazon and Master of Malt

Ardbeg 8 Year Old Committee Release Review

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Nose: Intense with a burst of charcoal, creosote, tar and treacle toffee, with curious hints of something vegetal, like fennel, celery and green peppers. Once these subside, there are hints of milk chocolate, aniseed and wood smoke. With a little drop of water, some more herbal notes appear, like fennel, coriander and lavender, along with some characteristic Ardbeg aromatic wood smoke and a hint of fresh, salty sea spray.

Taste: A distinctively peppery mouthfeel eases into a complex symphony of flavours; treacle toffee, aniseed, salted caramel chocolate, eucalyptus, menthol and briar wood, to name but a few. The ‘tingling’, peppery sensation on the palate continues, with the sweeter flavours giving way to more savoury notes like charcoal, smoked bacon, burnt toast and tar.

Finish: The aftertaste is long and lingering, with a suggestion of peppermint and clove.

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