Ardbeg Distillery has lined up the first addition of a permanent expression in a decade. Ardbeg An Oa (pronounced “an oh”), named after the Mull of Oa, will pay homage to the unexplored provenance of the isle of Islay.
Built in 1815, this popular distillery had been closed down a number of times. It was mothballed in 1981. However, small-scale production resumed in 1989. The distillery closed down again in 1996. It was eventually acquired and reopened 20 years ago by Glenmorangie.
This non-chill-filtered expression is a blend of spirit matured in ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, virgin oak, and ex-bourbon barrels. Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg's director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, 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 is round, reflecting the contrasts of the Mull of Oa, with hints of toffee, aniseed, dates, peach, and banana. On the palate, this whisky contains a syrupy note. Orange, milk chocolate, and smoky tea leaves blended with cigar smoke, sweet spices, and grilled artichokes lend a lingering and smoky finish.
Dr Bill Lumsden also added, “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.”
Ardbeg An Oa is bottled at 46.6% ABV and is priced at RRP £49.00 in the UK and will be available globally at specialist retailers from September 2017.