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Ardbeg honours its 'black sheep' at committee's 20th anniversary

Ardbeg Committee will celebrate 20th anniversary at Islay's Festival of Music and Malt
Ardbeg Blaaack marks the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee.
Ardbeg Blaaack marks the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee.
Islay distillery Ardbeg is asking malt whisky fans around the world to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of its committee.

The distiller will use this year's Ardbeg Day, held on the final Saturday of Islay's Festival of Music and Malt in May, to toast the triumphs of the Ardbeg Committee and its passion for all things peaty.

There will also be a limited-edition bottling, Ardbeg Blaaack, to mark the committee's anniversary and honour the producer's global 'flock' of supporters. For the special release, the distillery has rounded up pinot noir casks from the country furthest away from Islay, New Zealand – another remote island where sheep have been known to outnumber the locals.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg director of whisky creation, said: "Ardbeg Blaaack knits together velvety summer fruit pudding and bitter cherry, with a deeper edge of soot and Ardbeg’s hallmark smoke. It’s the perfect dram for toasting our legendary committee.”

Mickey Heads, Ardbeg distillery manager, said: “In every corner of every far-flung place, you’ll find an Ardbeg Committee member. For 20 years they’ve been proudly demonstrating their black-sheep behaviour. Ardbeg Blaaack is the best possible way to pay tribute to our tearaway fans who, like us, are shorn to be wild!”

On Ardbeg Day, which falls on 30 May this year, the distillery's iconic seawall will be painted black for the occasion and visitors will have the chance to taste special black cocktails and take part in a host of sheep-themed games.

Ardbeg Blaaack will be available from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers and from the distillery visitor centre, retailing at £94. Limited-edition woollen bottle jackets will also be on sale at the distillery.