Filed under: Spirits
And so the distillery is celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the formation of the Ardbeg Committee, a now-50,000-plus group of fans and followers, by releasing a limited bottling of a new expression called Rollercoaster [see video here].
To create Rollercoaster, which master distiller Bill Lumsden helped name to describe the last decade at Ardbeg, the whisky has been created by taking from ten years of casks, from 1997 to 2006, and vetting enough to create a volume sufficient for 10,000 bottles. In keeping with the occasion, buyers have to be members of the committee, which can be joined online at www.Ardbeg.com.
Rollercoaster fits in well with the growing family of Ardbeg whiskies. That means it has smoke to burn. The key difference between Rollercoaster and, say, Ardbeg's Ten-year-old flagship product, is a bit more sweet spice added to the peat-fires--fudge, burnt sugar and treacle flavors emerge along with a touch of the seaweed and brine that is characteristic of Islay malts. Lumsden is also achieving a level of creamy qualities in the Ardbeg malts that are the envy of other distillers, not that they would readily admit it.
Most of the casks selected are ex-bourbon but a couple are ex-sherry. The result makes for a nice mix of fruit and vanilla undertones. Rollercoaster has been bottled at 57.3% ABV, with the recommended price, $75. It can be ordered through the website at www.ardbeg.com. If shipping direct is a problem, it can be shipped to specific retailers. As with any limited bottling like this, especially cult-fav Ardbeg,it might be worthwhile to buy two--one for drinking and one for saving.