Following on from last week’s Bruichladdich High Noon, today’s Whisky of the Week is another from at the Islay Whisky Festival – Ardbeg Perpetuum.
2015 marks 200 years since Ardbeg was first distilled, and when we popped by during the Festival, there was a distinct buzz around the site as everyone prepared for the birthday celebrations. The bottling has been created to mark this milestone, as well as the 15 year anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee, which was formed to ensure “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”. The grouping now numbers 100,000 members, in more than 130 countries, and they are regularly consulted on new bottling and expressions.
This new Ardbeg Perpetuum is inspired by the many styles which have influenced the whisky over the ages. It combines different styles and flavours, from the very young to the very old, and both Bourbon barrels and spicy Sherry casks. This may sound like a bit of a mish-mash, but Dr Bill Lumsden has created a truly stunning dram.
I’m not usually drawn to smoky whiskies but my appreciation for them has been growing recently, so Ardbeg Perpetuum came along at just the right time. The smell is just what you’d expect from an Islay whisky – mixing smoke and tar with rich sweet flavours including dark chocolate and treacle. On the palate, the smoke dies down slightly, giving way a beautifully creamy texture. This creaminess continues on the finish, with a tiny bit of spice too.
This bottling was initially launched at the distillery from 30 May, along with its eight other Ardbeg Embassies around the country, before going on general sale from 13 June. And although I’d recommend a visit to Islay ASAP (check my blog here) you can still take a stunning slice of the island home with you in the form of the Ardbeg Perpetuum.