Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ardbeg Day 2014 Is Kicking Off - Ardbeg Day Sydney 2014

Shortie Ball
Once again Feis Ile is upon us and what comes with that is the official global Ardbeg Day celebrated the 31st May 2014. Feis Ile, now in its thirteenth year, is of course Islay's week of Malt & Music where each distillery opens it's doors in celebration. Running for one week from 23rd to 31st May 2014, Ardbeg culminates the weeks festivities as the last distillery opening to the public. Recognising that the limited few can make it to Islay, Ardbeg took this a step further to celebrate their open day on a world wide scale with the official global Ardbeg Day (though for some of us Ardbeg Day is every day). Fellow D.T.W.C. member The Grey Bush and myself had the opportunity to attend last years event renamed Ardbog Day. Too much fun was had leaving us anticipating what is to come this year with keen interest.

This Ardbeg Day will be the 3rd such event held worldwide. Sydney's event time and location is yet to be specified but it should be noted in your diaries that the day will certainly be Saturday 31st May 2014.

How do you get involved in the free event? To get notifications you need to be signed up as a Ardbeg Committee Member. Committee membership is free with many perks to be had, notably Ardbeg Day access. For a break down of the welcome pack when becoming a Ardbeg Commitiee Member check it our this previous post: Ardbeg Abides – Becoming "The Ardbeg Committee" Member. These tickets go in a matter of days and even though the event is open to all, it will be you the Committee Member that gets the notification first.

Ardbeg Day is always themed with this years being no different. With the football (soccer) World Cup on, it has inspired the theme for Ardbeg Day: Peat Football - the Ardbeggian take on the football World Cup. According to the official line from the Ardbeg site the reasoning for this theme is as follows:
"Football has a rich and noble history in mainland Scotland where kings and lords would take to the pitch and teams were made up of gentlemen. However many of these gentrified teams would come a cropper during Islay fixtures, unused as they were to playing knee deep in our peaty pitches."
Ardbeg Auriverdes
But Ardbeg Day has become something more than good times, good whisky, and a bucket of peat. Each year as part of the event Ardbeg releases a new limited edition bottling. This year we will see the newcomer to the game Ardbeg Auriverdes - named after its golden whisky (auri), and unmistakable green bottle (verde). So what can we expect in this bottling? If previous years are anything to go by then it will be something delicious. What is making this release unique is a new technique instituted by Ardbeg. The American oak casks have had the specially made lids toasted to a char finish that has imparted a mocha coffee flavour profile. Bottled at 49.9% it is no shortie and we should be getting a tasting at the Ardbeg Day event. If you are unable to attended the event and or want a bottle for yourself it will be available in limited release with a price tag of around $135AU.

PR release material delivers some notable quotes from Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distillation and Whisky Creation:
“When creating Auriverdes I had a distinct flavour profile in mind that I wanted to achieve, so I specifically created the heart of the recipe to bring that to life. It is a unique expression of Ardbeg which has exceeded all my expectations - it has the trademark Ardbeg undertones with a distinct new taste experience. Ardbeg Auriverdes has an explosive mouthfeel which gives way to complex flavours of coffee grounds, liquorice, maple smoked ham, malty/biscuit notes, white pepper and a good sweet/salty balance.”
Seriously this is not an event to miss. Sign up for the committee membership if you have not already and keep checking for the event day registration to get involved.

The Baron

This is a non-sponsord promotion. For any further details please defer to the Ardbeg website.