Set to be released next month, Ardbeg Traigh Bhan (pronounced ‘Tri-Van’), the distillery says this 19-year-old single malt is inspired by the picturesque vista of the same name.
This is the first time in 20 years that Ardbeg will release an aged whisky that is a permanent expression.
Produced in a single batch each year, Traigh Bhan will feature a unique code on the carton, bottle and foot label, with subtle differences in flavour profiles expected each year, Ardbeg fans can research their batch code at Ardbeg.com for more information on their particular whisky’s story.
Priced at £150 (RRP), the new expression has been bottled at 46.2% abv.
The island's Traigh Bhan – known locally as The Singing Sands - is so named due to its white soft sands that "sing beneath your feet".
In juxtaposition to this alluring nature, the beach is also known to be treacherous, with bathing not advised in the seemingly tame crystal waters where jagged, volcanic rocks pierce the sands along the shore.
In reflection of this, the new whisky is "seductively smooth" on the nose, punctuated with "sudden, intense and rugged" flavour notes.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg director of distilling, whisky creation & whisky stocks, said: “A new, permanent aged Ardbeg is a rare occurrence, and cause for celebration. We hope that, by slightly tweaking the batch recipe year-on-year, Ardbeggians can have some fun exploring the finer details of this ever-changing dram.
"As far as taste goes, this 19 Year Old whisky plunges the palate into notes of smoky pineapple and aromatic wood smoke, with a sweet mouthfeel of smoked chilli chocolate and paprika. The intense notes then peter out through a long, smoky finish.”
· Aroma: Gentle ripples of smoky pineapple, soured cream and wood smoke make for an irresistible nose. Newly planed oak and supple dark leather then joins sweet toffee and liquorice.
A splash of water releases a surge of unexpected notes. Struck flint, herbal pine resin and coal tar effervesce towards citrusy lime sherbet and subtle, yet sweet vanilla cheesecake.
· Taste: The peaty power of this alluring spirit is undeniable, as it plunges your palate into its smoky depths. An intensely salty mouthfeel drifts into sweet and sour notes of smoked chili chocolate and paprika. Waves of toasted oak and roasted tea leaves emerge, before subsiding to reveal fresh peppermint fondant and salted white chocolate.
· Finish: Firm but gentle, soothing wood smoke carries into a length, lingering finish – resonating far beyond the glass.