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Ardbeg Scorch released to celebrate second virtual Ardbeg Day

Ardbeg Scorch is the latest limited release from the Islay distillery.

Published: April 14, 2021

The new limited edition whisky has been released to celebrate Ardbeg Day, which is held annually on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle).

It is a global celebration of all things Ardbeg, and will once again take place entirely online this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Distillery invites smoky malt whisky lovers to join them on online and social media on 5 June, as fans come together to uncover the 'myth and the malt' behind their new limited edition, Ardbeg Scorch.

The Ardbeg team said: "Islay folk have long told tales of the island’s dragon, bravely slain by a heroic warrior many moons ago.

"On 5 June 2021, Ardbeggians around the world will celebrate Ardbeg Day with a new whisky created in homage to this ‘true myth’.

"It is said this fiercely delicious dram is the mouthwatering product of Ardbeg’s own flavour-breathing beast, who dwells in Dunnage Warehouse No. 3, scorching staves and burning barrels."

Ardbeg Scorch has been matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks – heavily charred by the fiery exhale of Warehouse 3’s definitely-real-and-totally-not-made-up dragon (otherwise known as the Ardbeg creation team).

Intense aromas of soot and smoke lie in wait, while grilled fare and black liquorice mingle with bold notes of medicinal lozenge.

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Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s distillery manager, said: “This year will be my first Ardbeg Day ever: a baptism of fire.

"It’s a shame we Ardbeggians can’t enjoy it together in person, but the online event is shaping up to be tremendous fun.

"With a whole virtual world to explore, including fantasy inns, campfire tales, medieval feasts and live tastings, there’s plenty for people to be excited about this year.”

Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, added: “Ardbeg Scorch is our tribute to the legendary dragon of Islay.

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"By using our most heavily-charred casks, we’ve created a fire-breathing beast of a dram."

Ardbeg Scorch will be available to buy from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers and from the Distillery Visitor Centre from 25 May 2021.

It has an ABV of 46% and a RRP of £100.

Tasting notes

Colour: Bright brushed gold

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Nose: On the nose, frighteningly intense aromas of soot and smoke lie in wait. Hints of aniseed and fragrant patchouli interlace with bold notes of quenched steel and saddle soap. With a drop of water, herbal top notes of briar wood, sage and pine wisp their way to the fore.

Taste: Take a sip and experience lair upon lair of flavour. An oily mouthfeel grips the senses. Billowy clouds of sweet smoke and dragon charred oak permeate the palate, while grilled fare and black liquorice weave between notes of medicinal lozenge.

Finish: A long and heroic finale, with a subtle tarry aftertaste. A finish that will drag on, well into its happily ever after.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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