In the relentless annual whisky calendar, May and June are months of potentially biblical outlays. Ground zero is Islay and the special releases that spark scrums to own a bottle. I’ve never been to Islay during this period and by all accounts the queues and relentless nature of the pursuit seems tiresome even from this distance. However many do love it and the hunt. In contrast, I’m thankful that many distilleries are now making these special bottles available to a wider audience in the UK and beyond.
Diageo made the welcome move of increasing the number of bottles to 3000, although from what I’ve read these were offered up to employees first however this should in theory make bottles more available. In doing so, sell-on prices should remain a little more realistic. Long term it will be interesting to see if this trend continues and the online community are serviced in doing so. Jura put aside a number of their own special bottling for their website, which is great to see. The knock-on effect was a crushing rush on their server that is still recovering as I write this now. Overall, Feis Ile 2013 has some positive trends that can be built upon.
So here we are confronted by the Ardbeg 2013 contender, which has been dug from the depths and christened as Ardbog. It is another powerful image by those clever marketing bods as Ardbeg and after this, and outer space last year; I’m not sure where they’ll go next! The main UK event (outside the distillery itself) was held in London, so sadly there was no return to defend my Olympic Ardbeg crown this year. Upon reflection, this is a real shame and the only Ardbog event I knew of locally was Royal Mile Whiskies offering a tasting dram whilst selling a bottle.
The packaging is familiar; just a twist on the previous bottles right back to the Supernova releases. Maybe this is an area Ardbeg can surprise us in 2014? I’ve yet to taste this malt, the Ardbeg Day 2012 release I thought walked all over the Galileo, which had it’s own set of fans. Still, it’s an Ardbeg Ardbog so you know the quality is intact.
Info Distillery: Ardbeg Age: No Age Statement but we know at least 10 years Distilled: ???