Ardbeg, the popular Islay Distillery, is joining forces with DJ BBQ this summer to bring big, smoky flavours to barbecues around the globe.
Fuelled by their shared obsession with smoke, Ardbeg has partnered with the ‘catertainment’ star to create The Smoke Sessions – an online series which offers a guide to barbecue dishes and smoky whisky cocktails.
Giving fans of the smoky dram the chance to try new BBQ dishes, The Smoke Sessions will see DJ BBQ (aka Christian Stevenson) apply the fundamental laws of smoke, wood and heat to perfect BBQ dishes and drinks created using Ardbeg Ten, An Oa and Wee Beastie.
Ardbeg and DJ BBQ will kick off the series this month by hosting the UK’s smokiest virtual barbeque on Instagram Live.
The cook will share one of his favourite recipes, paired with a whisky cocktail, before spinning the decks.
Joining in the fun will be Brendan McCarron, the Distillery’s head of maturing whisky stocks.
Speaking of the collaboration and Ardbeg in general, Brendan said: “Ardbeg is famous for a lot of things but first and foremost it is famous for being an incredibly smoky whisky - one of the real talismans of Islay, which is renowned for its smoky whiskies.
“When I’m speaking to people about the whiskies that I help to make they ask if it just tastes like smoke. The answer is yes and no, it is really smoky but the smoke is just one element of the whisky - albeit one of the big elements.
"Ardbeg is actually very sweet as well as being salty and medicinal - flavours that complement the smoke and when people realise that, they start getting really into the taste.
“We spend a lot of time telling people how the whisky is smoked and how the flavour is imparted and that got us thinking about who else is obsessed with smoke and using smoke to create flavours as well as using it to complement other flavours - and that led us to what DJ BBQ was doing with food.
“We got talking to him as we thought we were doing similar things and decided to create this collaboration to show how smoke comes through in different flavours and how it shows up in certain foods, and of course, in certain Ardbegs.”
DJ BBQ added: “My smoky barbecue recipes share so many characteristics with the flavours of Ardbeg whisky, and they complement each other perfectly.
"The laws of wood, heat and smoke are so important to barbecue and single malt alike, and once mastered, you’ll become a barbecue boss.
“The taste of braided beef fillet alongside an Ardbeg Ten Old Fashioned is just awesome, and a sip of hot Wee Beastie punch with a slow smoked pork shoulder is unrivalled.
“Remember, patience is key to maximise that wonderful flame-grilled flavour, it’s only done when it’s done. The Ardbeg Smoke Sessions series will show you that it’s easy to go beyond the realms of basic barbecue burgers with a little creativity and a ton of smoky goodness.”
Foodies and whisky lovers can tune in to Ardbeg’s Instagram Live on Friday 24 July at 8pm to watch DJ BBQ kick off Ardbeg Smoke Sessions with the virtual BBQ.
Cocktail fans will also be able to order DJ BBQ’s Maple and Bacon Old Fashioned for delivery across Scotland and the UK, via Mothership on the Drinks At Home platform, for a limited period from 21 July.