Ardbeg to extend core range with An Oa whiskyBy Annie Hayes
Islay-based single malt Scotch Ardbeg is to expand its core portfolio with a whisky aged in a ‘gathering vat’ within the distillery’s former grain store, called Ardbeg An Oa.
Pronounced ‘an oh’, the bottling contains whiskies of different cask types – including Pedro Ximénes, virgin oak and ex-Bourbon – that have been married in a French oak vat in Ardbeg’s new ‘Gathering Room’.
Ardbeg An Oa is the first permanent expression from the distillery for almost ten years, and pays homage to the Mull of Oa. Situated at the end of the Oa peninsula, it forms the most southerly point of Islay.
Ardbeg’s director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: “There is a wonderfully Ardbeggian magic to The Gathering Room, where the parcels married together in this whisky merge over time, to reach new levels of complexity.
“Ardbeg An Oa’s rounded and subtly smoky aromas reflect all the contrasts of the Mull of Oa, with notes of creamy toffee, aniseed, dates and hints of peach and banana.
“The whisky’s smooth, creamy texture leads to a huge syrupy sweetness on the palate, as milk chocolate, orange and smoky tea leaves mingle with sweet spices, cigar smoke and – unusually – grilled artichokes, before a lingering, seductive and smoky finish.
“It is years since the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt added to its core range. We hope smoky malt whisky fans everywhere will be drawn to Ardbeg An Oa.”
Bottled at 46.6% abv, Ardbeg An Oa is non-chill filtered and has an RRP of £49.00. It will be available from specialist retailers from September 2017.