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Ardbeg’s ‘Peat & Love’ Initiative Dives Into Past

Ardbeg Day falls on Saturday, 2nd June 2018. This year, the Islay distillery will be rolling back the years to the Ardbeg Village of the late 1960s.

Each year, Ardbeg Day marks the end of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt, Fèis Ìle, with a global celebration of the untamed spirit of Islay. Eagerly anticipated by Ardbeggians and smoky malt Whisky enthusiasts the world over, this year will take them back in time for a celebration of all things ‘Peat & Love’.

Inspired by the alternative lifestyle and unorthodox spirit of a previous generation, Ardbeg will release this year’s celebratory Limited Edition, Ardbeg Grooves. In his latest experiment, Dr. Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks has used re-toasted red wine casks to mature a portion of the Whisky. While still sticky with the residue of the wine, these casks were intensely charred to produce heavy grooves into the surface of the wood, a technique that has produced more intense flavors. The result is a Whisky aromatic with smoked spices, distant bonfires, and chili-seasoned meats.

Ardbeg's 'Peat & Love' Initiative Dives Into Past
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Meanwhile, all across the world, Committee Members and lovers of smoky malt will be invited to don their flares, channel some ‘flower power’ and celebrate their passion for the peaty Whisky they “dig” above all others.

Distillery Manager Mickey Heads said: “The Ardbeg Village of the 1960s was a very different place – a groovy wee community, with its own post office, billiards hall, two choirs and even a football team. These days the Ardbeg community is a worldwide one, and Ardbeg Day is the best way for us all to come together and raise a dram to the ultimate Islay single malt.”

Ardbeg Day in the UK will play host to a live online tasting, broadcasting to all Ardbeg Embassies nationwide, uniting them in a celebration of Islay’s peatiest malt. The day will also see the launch of Ardbeg’s Summer of Peat & Love Campaign, where Ardbeg’s own 1960s inspired VW van will tour the country making stops at a number of leading music festivals, bars and Ardbeg Embassies serving smoky drams to the masses, spreading a taste of Islay’s ‘Peat & Love’ and good vibes along the way. More details on Ardbeg’s Summer of Peat & Love will be released in the forthcoming weeks.

Ardbeg's 'Peat & Love' Initiative Dives Into Past
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The Committee release of Ardbeg Peat & Love bottled at 51.6% goes on sale at 9 am on 14th March 2018, RRP: £89.

Every year, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music takes place in May or June on Ardbeg’s island home. On the Festival’s final Saturday, Ardbeg Day, the Distillery traditionally throws open its doors to welcome fans from all over the world. In 2012 Ardbeg Day became a global event, enabling the Whisky’s passionate international following to take part in a worldwide celebration of all things Ardbeg in their own country. Recent Ardbeg Day themes have included the Islay-limpics and the Peat Football World Cup, while in 2015, Ardbeg Day celebrated the single malt’s 200th anniversary by looking forward 200 years to a retro-futuristic version of Islay in 2215.  For 2016, Ardbeg Day became Ardbeg Night, as fans across the globe recalled Islay’s dark past as a smugglers’ haunt. And in 2017, Ardbeg Day plunged deep under the sea for another legendary celebration.

Ardbeg's 'Peat & Love' Initiative Dives Into Past
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Ardbeg Grooves is a limited-edition bottling created to celebrate Ardbeg Day 2018. It is the Distillery’s first Whisky with a heart matured in wine casks that have been intensely charred to carve heavy grooves in the surface of the wood. The result is a Whisky with perfect harmony between smoldering, smoky cinnamon and the sweetness of vanilla popcorn, treacle, and pear – with an intensity Ardbeg lovers will adore.

Written by James Connolly

James Connolly is an established freelance writer from the UK. Having worked for a variety of titles across the globe, his work touches upon travel, food, politics, and more, reflecting a deep-seated curiosity towards people, places, and their respective cultures.

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