Ardbeg releases experimental Heavy Vapours expression for Fèis Ìle 2023

Ardbeg releases experimental Heavy Vapours expression for Fèis Ìle 2023

The experimental whisky – launching for Ardbeg Day on 3 June – was distilled without a purifier

News | 28 Apr 2023

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Ardbeg is celebrating the 2023 Fèis Ìle music and whisky festival with a new expression and a continuation of its Planet Ardbeg comic book series.

To mark Ardbeg Day, which falls during the festival, on 3 June, the distillery is launching an experimental limited-edition whisky: Ardbeg Heavy Vapours. It is the first Ardbeg whisky to have been distilled without a purifier, allowing heavier vapours to rise up the still during the distillation process.

Dr Bill Lumsden, director of whisky creation for Ardbeg, said: "A missing purifier is unprecedented for Ardbeg. This experiment was something I’ve always imagined trying – what would happen to the flavour and character of Ardbeg as we know and love it, by distilling in this unique way? Well, it’s now time for Ardbeg fans to find out; this is a full-blown dram where Ardbeg’s exalted balance has been disrupted in the most fantastic of ways ­– a truly captivating dram.”

The expression’s unusual distillation process and resulting flavour have brought to life in an accompanying graphic novel, created by comic artist and illustrator Dilraj Mann. The plot follows Agent 46 (aka Jackie Thomson, Ardbeg visitor centre manager and Ardbeg Committee chair), a plucky interplanetary detective on a quest to locate the purifier and restore Ardbeg’s balance.

The distillery is continuing this galactic theme on Ardbeg Day – christened 'Planet Ardbeg Day' for 2023 – and inviting fans to attend as their favourite Ardbeg-inspired hero, comic character, or mythical creature.

Ardbeg distillery manager Colin Gordon said: "The time has almost come again where we call on Ardbeg fans and whisky lovers across the world to celebrate Planet Ardbeg Day with us, be that on Islay at the distillery or at one of our events around the world.

“Our 2023 theme will be a celebration of our Planet Ardbeg graphic novel universe, where we’ll be uncovering the mysteries behind our latest limited-edition release, Ardbeg Heavy Vapours. We can’t wait to celebrate this iconic date in the whisky calendar with our global community again soon.”

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours will be available to buy worldwide from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers, and from the distillery visitor centre at a recommended price of £120.
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