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Ardbeg releases 21yo to mark ‘turbulent’ past

Islay single malt Scotch whisky Ardbeg has launched a 21-year-old expression that marks “one of the most turbulent times” in the distillery’s history.

Ardbeg Twenty One will be exclusively available to members of the Ardbeg Committee

Ardbeg Twenty One is available exclusively to members of the Ardbeg Committee, a members’ club of 120,000 people formed to “prevent the distillery’s doors ever closing again”.

The distillery ceased production and closed twice throughout its history – in 1981 and 1996. As such, Ardbeg claims its latest expression is significant since uses liquid distilled in the mid-90s, the time of its final closure.

The Glenmorangie Company purchased Ardbeg distillery in 1997.

“Ardbeg Twenty One is a shining example of Ardbeg’s enduring spirit [and] I’m so pleased we can share it with our members,” said Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery manager and chairman of the Ardbeg Committee, who set aside whisky used for this new bottling.

“The committee have invested much in ensuring the future of the distillery and it’s only right that they should share the rewards of its turbulent past too.”

Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks at Ardbeg, added: “I selected the casks for this sumptuous, golden whisky as they combine the distinctive, peppery smokiness of Ardbeg’s award-winning malt with soothing, buttery qualities.

“Born from adversity, Ardbeg Twenty One is the perfect dram to celebrate the resilience of Ardbeg and The Ardbeg Committee’s enduring loyalty.”

Non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46% abv, Ardbeg Twenty One will go on sale on 21 September at an RRP of £310.

In April this year, the distillery launched a no-age-statement, called Dark Cove, to mark Islay’s smuggling past.

Just last week, Ardbeg launched “the world’s most daring whisky challenge”, where 10 participants will take part in an apprenticeship at the distillery followed by a trek to Ardbeg’s water source, before cutting peat and rowing a cask of whisky along the Islay coast, all the time carrying at 12kg pack.

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