Whisky Focus - Ardbeg Blaaack - Committee 20th Anniversary Limited Editon

Ardbeg Blaaack - Committee 20th Anniversary Limited Editon

20th February 2020
Ardbeg to mark the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee with the release of Ardbeg Blaaack which has been matured in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks.

Ardbeg Blaaack - Committee 20th Anniversary Limited EditonHeld on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fčis Ěle), Ardbeg Day is a global, annual celebration of all things Ardbeg. This year, the Distillery is inviting smoky malt whisky lovers everywhere to join them as they toast to two incredible decades of the Ardbeg Committee.

Ardbeg Blaaack is the feisty Limited Edition bottled in celebration of the Ardbeg Committee’s 20th Anniversary (founded in the year 2000). To mark such a momentous occasion, the Distillery vowed that the casks used to honour their global flock would be right on the nose. For the first time in Ardbeg’s history, they rounded up Pinot Noir casks from the country that lies the furthest distance from Islay – New Zealand, that other remote island nation where sheep have been known to outnumber the locals by 7:1.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg Director of Whisky Creation, said: "Ardbeg Blaaack knits together velvety summer fruit pudding and bitter cherry, with a deeper edge of soot and Ardbeg’s hallmark smoke. It’s the perfect dram for toasting our legendary Committee."

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, said: "In every corner, of every far-flung place, you’ll find an Ardbeg Committee member. For 20 years they’ve been proudly demonstrating their black-sheep behaviour. Ardbeg Blaaack is the best possible way to pay tribute to our tearaway fans who, like us, are shorn to be wild!"

‘Among the whitewashed walls of Islay stands a black sheep – Ardbeg.’ This claim will be truer than ever on Ardbeg Day, as the Distillery’s iconic seawall is painted black for the occasion. ‘Baaars’ across the world will be stocked, with visitors getting the chance to taste special black cocktails, take part in a whole host of sheepish games and even sign up to have their head sheared by a ‘baaarber’.

Ardbeg Blaaack Committee 20th Anniversary Limited Edition bottled at 50.7% ABV will be available to buy on 4th March, Ardbeg Committee members will be sent a link from Ardbeg before it goes on sale.

A 46% ABV Ardbeg Blaaack expression will be available from 28th May from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt and from the Distillery Visitor Centre. A rare limited edition woollen bottle jacket will also be on sale at the Distillery, for those lucky enough to get their hands on one.

Ardbeg Blaaack (46% ABV) Review

Producer's Tasting Notes:

Colour: Deep cherry blossom.

Nose: On the nose baked fruit pudding knits together seamlessly with cedar wood and aromatic cigar box. Oak tannins and rich truffles then break away to reveal subtle notes of smoky jam tart.

Taste: A velvety and surprisingly furry mouthfeel drives your palate into a complex symphony of contrasting flavours. Aniseed, soot and summer fruits – such as cherries, strawberries, apricots and pears – give way to crumbly pastry, dark chocolate, coffee and almonds.

Finish: A long, lingering sooty finish.

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