Ardbeg Releases First-Ever Port-Aged Scotch Whisky for a Limited Time


Ardbeg announced its newest whisky, Ardbeg Spectacular, the distillery’s first to be matured in Port casks. The Scotch will be released at the annual Fèis Ìle festival.

The smoky, spirited, and whisky-focused Fèis Ìle festival is held every year during the last week of May in Islay, the small island off the west coast of Scotland best known for its peaty whiskies, verdant hills, and seemingly untouched beaches. On the last day of the annual celebration, June 1 this year, Ardbeg—the singular distillery owned by LVMH–celebrates aptly named Ardbeg Day where the brand throws an event to unveil a unique, limited-edition whisky.

Ardbeg Spectacular blends traditional Ardbeg whiskies that were aged in bourbon barrels with others wholly aged in Port barrels. While not the first brand to mix the smoky-ness of Islay with rich fruity flavors provided by fortified wine barrels, this combination is particularly deep and flavorful.

The nose features lavender, vetiver, and incense leading to deeper notes of leather, almond, woodsmoke, and peat. The weighty palate delivers bursts of salty, savory flavors, including eucalyptus oil, toffee, smoked pecans, woodsmoke, pear, and fudge. The finish lingers with more leather, salted caramel, and a cooling mint.

“Ardbeg Spectacular is a high-flying spirit, very befitting of Ardbeg Day,” says Gillian Macdonald, Ardbeg master blender. “Its years in bourbon and port casks create a spectacle of flavors, the likes of which Ardbeggians have never tasted before. We invite fans to roll up and feast their palates on its peculiar notes of mint chocolate, incense, lavender, and smoked nuts, set off by a daring double act of salted caramel and tar.”

Ardbeg Spectacular will be available to buy worldwide from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers, and from the Distillery Visitor Centre. It’s currently available on Ardbeg’s website for £110 (about $119 USD).

Related: We’ve Tasted Hundreds of Scotch Whiskies. These 16 Bottles Are the Best of 2024

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