Ardbeg Has a New Whisky—And That’s a Big Deal
The iconic Islay whisky doesn't change their lineup very often but when they do it's time to stand in line.
There are whisky distilleries—good ones, even—that can’t pass by an empty wine barrel without throwing some scotch in there and putting out yet another “exclusive limited-edition” bottling. And then there are distilleries like Islay’s Ardbeg who put out new whiskies with about the same regularity that Britain crowns monarchs. So a new bottle from them is, in fact, an exclusive limited-edition event without the smart-assy exclamation marks. Their new bottling is called Auriverdes and it’s an homage to that other rare event that people get excited about, the World Cup. I was a tad nervous tasting it because I’ve never had a bad dram made by Ardbeg, but the law of averages means that sooner or later, there’s going to have to be one that’s not in my wheelhouse. But it’s not Auriverdes, which is amazing. It has a smoky sweetness that’s quite refined, really—this isn’t one of those bruising, peat-freak whiskies. The biggest problem with this whisky may be actually opening it—given the increase in price of their recent limited edition offerings it’s tempting to stick this under the stairs like some sort of boozy T Bill and unearth it in a few years when it’s appreciated a goofy amount in price. But resist. Crack the seal, pour a few ounces and toast the fact that exclusive still means something in some places.
Ardbeg Auriverdes will be released on May 31st—Ardbeg Day—in B.C. and Alberta (that’s 3 weeks earlier than the U.K., which makes it even sweeter). Celebrations will be held in Vancouver at the Blackbird, in Calgary at Kensington Wine Market and in Edmonton at the Bothy Downtown.