Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, this year's Ardbeg day is going online but fans can celebrate it and a new release from the distillery at home.

Fans of the popular Islay distillery are being asked to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee and this year’s limited edition, Ardbeg Blaaack.

Usually held on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle), Ardbeg Day is a global, annual celebration of all things Ardbeg.

This year, with the festival sadly cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ardbeg is taking its celebrations online and inviting malt whisky lovers everywhere to join them as they toast two decades of the Ardbeg Committee.

The Ardbeg Committee was founded in 2020 and is a fan club for the distillery, which is free to join.

Members can keep up to date with news and events at the distillery and the committee is there to”promote the advancement of general knowledge and enjoyment of Ardbeg.”

What to expect 

Titled the Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials, the online celebration will be broadcast on 30 May via Facebook to Ardbeg fans around the world.

The two-hour programme of tastings, games, and entertainment is in celebration of the Ardbeg Committee’s 20th Anniversary, and it takes its theme from the limited edition bottled in their honour, Ardbeg Blaaack.

The team say that this single malt ‘knits together flavours of velvety summer fruit pudding and bitter cherry, with a deeper edge of soot and Ardbeg’s hallmark smoke.’

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg distillery manager, said: “We were looking forward to marking Ardbeg Day this year with our dyed-in-the-wool fans here at the distillery, and at celebrations around world. Sadly, global events overtook us.

“However, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a back-up plan to keep our Committee Members entertained, safe at home.

“I’ll be shepherding the Ardbeg team in an online extravaganza instead – expect tastings of some much-loved whiskies, fun, blether, and maybe even a few Blaaack-inspired surprises.”

How to join

You can tune into the Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials from 7pm on Ardbeg’s Facebook page, with content available to watch later on the Ardbeg website, Instagram and YouTube channels.

Ardbeg Blaaack will be available to buy from the distillery website, Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, and online retailers around the world from 30 May, although distribution may be a bit delayed in some markets due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

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Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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