Ardbeg, the well-known distillery in Islay have introduced ‘The Rollercoaster’, a special release featuring two limited edition whiskies from the 1980s.
The whiskies are presented in a box made from sturdy Scottish oak and the aim behind these special editions is to capture the ups and downs of Ardbeg’s history.
One of the whiskies was distilled in March 1981 when the distillery shut down, the other was distilled in October 1989 when the distillery reopened under new ownership.
Ardbeg was founded in 1815 and they faced some big challenges in the 1970s as blended whiskies gained popularity. During this time, only a few casks annually were set aside to be matured as single malt.
The first whisky in The Rollercoaster set, aged for 42 years and comes from the last remaining cask of the 1981 stock. It’s a blend of heavily peated malt (up to 110ppm) along with lightly peated malt, which was briefly used at the distillery. This whisky was aged in Bourbon casks and then transferred to an Oloroso Sherry cask to develop rich and spicy flavours before being bottled at 47.3%.
The second whisky, with an ABV of 45.3%, originates from one of the final casks distilled in 1989, just after production resumed. Initially matured in Bourbon casks, this 33-year-old whisky was later moved to a refill Bourbon cask to enhance its subtle peated style.
Both bottles are presented in a box made of solid Scottish oak, designed by John Galvin.
There are only 143 sets available, and they come with a recommended retail price of £85,000.