Our final masterclass of the weekend is one that’s sure to go down in the ledgers of Whisky Show history. We’ll be joined by Ardbeg Brand Director Hamish Torrie to hear a little of the interesting times that he’s seen at Ardbeg since they reopened in 1997 under the stewardship of The Glenmorangie Company.
We’ll be looking across the incredible range of whiskies that has come out of the distillery over the last 15 years. Stepping from whisky produced in their 1970s heyday, missing out the largely inactive 1980s, jumping into the 1990s and also trying some of the spirit produced since the reopening.
Hamish has dug deep into his secret stash and has found us two 1970s distilled drams – one unreleased one from 1976 and one from the legendary 1974 vintage. Add to that the much-missed Airigh Nam Beist, the youthful Very Young, and current fan favourite Uigeadail and you have a lineup that’s certain to satisfy any Ardbeg fan.
This is a fantastic chance to see how Ardbeg’s whiskies have changed over the years and one that no peat-head can afford to miss.
FROM THE 1970s
Firstly a pair of treats from the classic days of Ardbeg – the 1970s. We will have a 1974 vintage whisky, the year that Ardbeg started using malt not produced in the distillery’s own maltings. Whiskies from the vintage are rightly legendary and change hands for upwards of £1000 a bottle. Joining that, we’ll be privileged to taste a cask sample of whisky laid down in 1976. A rare honour that we’re pleased to be able to offer to attendees of the class
FROM THE 1990s
After the distillery’s closure throughout most of the 1980s, they came back online part time through the early 1990s, with Laphroaig’s Iain Henderson overseeing production. During this time they distilled and laid down the now legendary Airigh Nam Beist, launched in 2006. It has since, unfortunately, been discontinued, but Hamish has got his hand on a cache and we will be pouring it for the class
FROM THE 2000s
And on to the modern day – spirit produced by the distillery since the reopening in 1997. First of the pair of drams will be the Very Young, one of the first releases consisting solely of spirit distilled since 1997. Bottled at about 6 years old this was a milestone in the development, and started the course towards their ongoing 10 year old bottling. Along with the Very Young we will be presenting Uigeadail, the Oogie, staple of the Ardbeg fan’s drinks cabinet. Combining both sherry and bourbon matured whisky it sits at the heart of the distillery’s range.