Ardnahoe launches its first whisky

Islay distillery Ardnahoe will launch its inaugural whisky in May, a limited edition five-year-old single malt.

The £12 million (US$15.7m) distillery, established in 2019, will release the whisky on 10 May.

Named Ardnahoe Inaugural Release, the whisky sits at 50% ABV and will retail for £70 (US$88).

The distillery was founded by Hunter Laing & Co, a Scotch whisky blender and bottler run by Stewart Laing and his sons, Andrew and Scott Laing.

On launching Ardnahoe’s first whisky, Stewart, who is managing director at Hunter Laing & Co, said: “Building our own distillery was a hugely important and long dreamed of step and it’s been a personal ambition of mine ever since I was posted to work on Islay at Bruichladdich back in the 1960s.

“From finding the perfect piece of land on Islay for the distillery back in 2015 to now seeing our first whisky released, it’s truly the culmination of a lifelong dream for the Laing family.”

Drawing from traditional methods, distillery manager Fraser Hughes crafted the liquid with soft peated Islay loch water drawn from nearby Loch Ardnahoe and malted barley, sourced from Port Ellen Maltings on Islay’s south coast.

The distillery also uses two traditional worm tub condensers, which are said to be the only ones on the island.

The whisky was matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-oloroso Sherry casks, and possesses both signature Islay traits of peat and smoke, as well as a sweet fruitiness.

Its notes are said to begin with peat on the nose, transitioning to custard, ginger, lemon zest and baked apples on the palate, and ending with a long smokey finish.

Scott Laing, business development director at Hunter Laing & Co, added:  This is a very proud moment for us. The Laing family’s passion and knowledge about Scotch whisky has endured for three generations, and it’s a momentous milestone to be releasing our very own traditionally crafted single malt from our own distillery.”

Ardnahoe’s debut release will be available to purchase on 10 May from the distillery’s website, at the distillery itself, at selected retailers in the UK and more than 20 countries worldwide.

It will be the first in a series of releases from Ardnahoe in the coming months and the inaugural whisky from a new distillery on the island since 2009.

Andrew Laing, export director at Hunter Laing & Co, concluded: “Ardnahoe Distillery has welcomed many thousands of visitors from all over the globe since we opened in 2019 and there’s been great anticipation at the prospect of the first ever Ardnahoe whisky being released in the UK and internationally.

“With the Inaugural Release, Ardnahoe has released a whisky that shows signs of one day being regarded as an Islay classic.”

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