Ardbeg launches barbecue-inspired BizarreBQ Scotch whisky

Ardbeg's Dr Bill Lumsden and 'DJ BBQ' Christian Stevenson used a three-cask combination to create the sweet and smoky expression
Ardbeg BizarreBQ, a new limited edition from the Islay distillery
Ardbeg BizarreBQ, a new limited edition from the Islay distillery
Ardbeg is taking culinary inspiration in its latest limited edition: Ardbeg BizarreBQ.

The barbecue-inspired whisky, designed by Ardbeg's director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden, aims to recreate the aromas and flavours of a smoky barbecue. It was created in collaboration with Christian Stevenson, aka DJ BBQ, with whom Ardbeg has been working since 2020.

To design the Ardbeg BizarreBQ, Lumsden and DJ BBQ drew on a common flavour-building element in the distilling and grilling processes: fire. The whisky utilises double-charred oak casks, Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, and the distillery's unique 'barbecue' casks that have received extra charring on an old-fashioned brazier. The duo say this cask combination brings together 'a mouth-watering sweet, tangy and smoky flavour'.

Lumsden said: "Ardbeg BizarreBQ is certainly a hare-brained idea, but with DJ BBQ’s help I was able to cook up something truly incredible. Puffs of charcoal and soot mingle with smoky wood and aromatic herbs and spices. The undeniable smell of bonfire and barbecue embers linger in the background. Deep, warming smoke follows in flame-grilled steak, chilli oil, cured leather and clove. If there’s one Ardbeg you want with you grill-side, it’s this one."

Stevenson said: “Barbecue lovers and Ardbeg lovers are one and the same: it’s all about the smoke, which is something Ardbeg BizarreBQ has in spades. I’ve been on a mission to create and perfect a variety of barbecue dishes and accompanying Ardbeg serves that honour the fundamental laws of smoke, wood and heat for some time. This new limited-edition Ardbeg takes this match made in heaven to the next level, and I can’t wait for BBQ and whisky fans to try it.”

Ardbeg BizarreBQ (50.8% ABV) will be available initially from the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre and in Germany from 3 April. It will launch in global markets later this year, including in the UK in June, and will be available from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists and online retailers.