Ardbeg kicks off vintage series with 23YO whisky

Islay distillery Ardbeg will release a 23-year-old whisky in July that it calls its ‘first vintage of the Millennium’.

Named Ardbeg Vintage Y2K, the whisky was created with some of the first spirit from when the distillery returned to full production in the years 1999-2000. It was acquired by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 – in the process saving it from extinction.

The spirit was distilled in the still that had been at Ardbeg for 51 years, which was retired in 2001. It was then laid down in Bourbon and oloroso Sherry casks for the rest of its maturation.

Dr Bill Lumsden, the brand’s master distiller, said: “Ardbeg Vintage Y2K is a phenomenal souvenir of a pivotal year at Ardbeg. Crafted at the dawn of a new era in our historic still, this ultra-rare whisky has been stowed carefully at the distillery ever since.

“Herbal, citrusy and sweet on the nose, before soot, peppermint and coffee explode on the palate, this retro collectors’ classic is pure Ardbeg nostalgia.”

As Lumdsen explained above, the whisky’s notes are said to be both ‘intensely sweet and classically peaty’. Drinkers may find aromas of ‘lemon balsam reminisce with linseed oil and heather honey’, and ground coffee and aniseed on the palate.

The finish is described as long and lingering with a finish that ‘reveals antiseptic lozenges, bitter orange peel and oak tannins’.

Bottled at 46% ABV, the whisky will be available for £670 (US$839) from July and pre-orders can be made now on the distillery’s website.

It is said to be the first edition of a ‘highly limited’ series, which celebrates the distillery’s regeneration at the turn of the Millennium.

Ardbeg Committee chair and distillery visitor centre manager, Jackie Thomson, added: “The turn of the Millennium was a milestone for Ardbeg in so many ways – not least the formation of our Committee, the lifeblood of Ardbeg.

“With Y2K fashion and culture now back with a vengeance, we’re inviting Ardbeggians to turn back time to a remarkable year and enjoy the spirit of Ardbeg Vintage Y2K.”

The brand also recently released a released a port-aged whisky to mark Fèis Ìle.

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