Islay distillery Ardbeg goes full-on punk mode with limited-edition release Ardcore this June to celebrate Ardbeg Day.

Those who love Ardbeg always look forward to Ardbeg Day. Traditionally held annually on the last Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt – also known as Fèis Ìle – Ardbeg Day is when the distillery goes full celebratory mode. And festivities aside, one of the main highlights of Ardbeg Day for fans is its highly-anticipated annual expression released to commemorate the occasion.

This Ardbeg special edition started in 2011 with Alligator, and kicked off a series of highly-prized bottles that included 2013’s Ardbog and Grooves in 2018. Even the pandemic years saw Ardbeg release Blaack and Scorch, even though Fèis Ìle was unfortunately cancelled in 2020 and went virtual in 2021.

For 2022, Ardbeg has announced Ardcore as the year’s special release for Ardbeg Day, which takes place this year on 4 June.

Ardcore is inspired by 1970s punk culture, and is a particularly smoky liquid hat tip to Islay’s little-known punk past. According to the Ardbeg, the island’s main port, Port Ellen, was supposedly nicknamed ‘Punk Ellen’ in the 70s. Evidence, however, remains scarce.

In any case, for whisky lovers the Ardcore is particularly significant because of its use of roasted black malt – a first for Ardbeg. This is essentially barley malted that’s roasted to an inch of its life, and gives this drop a distinctive taste profile that Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation, describes as tasting ‘like biting on a spiky ball’.

Ardcore is a dram that wears its heart on its sleeve – its black heart! Created with roasted black malt, burnt to hair-raising levels, this spirit is all about substance. Notes of charcoal and sweet smoke make for an in-your-face nose, while potent notes of aniseed and dark chocolate stamp this bottle out as one fit only for the most Ardcore of fans,” Lumsden describes.

Ardbeg Ardcore bottle packshot

Official Tasting Notes – Ardbeg Ardcore

Colour: Pale, translucent gold

Aroma: Spicy and savoury, Ardcore grips the senses, with waves of marmite, burnt toast, chicory charcoal and infused coffee grounds making for a mosh pit in the glass. Like a safety pin through the septum, a classic Ardbeg herbal top note is present, while swirling, smoky bonfire and molasses loiter backstage.

Taste: A jaw dropping spicy and fiery mouthfeel leads to an explosion of rich, smoky flavours – cocoa powder, dark chocolate, peanut brittle toffee, smoked lime and a suggestion of soot and bonfire embers all pogo in unison on the palate. Amped up aniseed and malty biscuit elbow their way to the fore, “punk-turing” taste buds.

Finish: In an altogether sweeter finish, long, lingering notes of treacle toffee, soot and smoke make for an anarchic, but delicious, aftertaste.

ABV: Committee Release 50.1% Main Release 46%

And if you’re into punk culture – and particularly into its iconoclastic music genre and its irreverent fashion – you’re likely to dig Ardcore‘s bottle and pack design. This edition even comes with a specially-designed spiky black cup the distillery created for Ardbeg Day 2022.

To celebrate the launch of its latest palate “punk-turing” limited edition, Ardbeg is calling on its fans to party like there’s no tomorrow. And while most of us can’t physically be at the distillery to celebrate Ardbeg Day, you can still join in the fun online. Activities broadcast live from the distillery include live tastings of the Ardcore, a tour of distillery happenings, and Global Brand Ambassador David Blackmore and Distillery Manager Colin Gordon giving their spiel for this year’s Ardbeg Day.

“This year will be my first physical Ardbeg Day. We know not everybody can make it to Islay, so we’re delighted to be broadcasting all the day’s antics online too. Whether at the Distillery or at home, we hope lots of you rock up, punked out and ready to party come 4 June,” says Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager.

The Ardbeg Ardcore is available in Singapore from Le Vigne Wines & Spirits at the recommended retail price of S$248, with limited quantities available for purchase.

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