The annual Ardbeg Day was celebrated in style with sixty-themed attire to honour the release of this year’s Limited Edition bottling: Ardbeg Grooves! Held in Newtown at the fabulous soul-food kitchen and bar Miss Peaches.
Ardbeg Grooves has been inspired by “the alternative lifestyle and unorthodox spirit of a previous generation”, and uses a proportion of the whisky that has been matured in re-toasted red-wine casks. It is these casks that gave the whisky its name. The intense charring and heat caused the wood of the casks to warp and to develop deep grooves. The name ultimately gave rise to the theme of this year’s event: Peat and Love.
The resulting spirit is a whisky aromatic with smoked spices and distant bonfires, sweet vibes of vanilla popcorn and smoky soot fading into a mellow haze of apples, fresh flowers and smoked pear. You dig? I certainly did.
To celebrate the event, three cocktails were created by local mixologists keeping in line with the sixties theme. First, we had Peat’s on Earth, with ‘Ardbeg 10 year dancing circles around a bonfire of coconut water, pineapple juice, saline and coconut puree’ created by Garth Foster, Ardbeg Brand Ambassador. Next, we had the Smoky Love Train, with ‘Ardbeg 10 year feeling the love with a dash of Pisco, fresh lemon juice, lavender oils, orange blossom and honey’ created by Drue Stevens at Miss Peaches. Finally, we had my favourite, Big Smoke Long Hair, with ‘Ardbeg 10 year getting deep with fat-washed hempseed, chamomile, rose and a homemade garden syrup of thyme lemon myrtle and raspberry garnished with a garland of flowers’ created by Raphael Redant from Stitch Bar.
Alongside these tasty beverages we were entertained with games of Twister (which I won), Jumbo Jenga, giant connect four, and a Simple Booth photo-booth complete with props. Not to mention the phenomenal food that was served. We enjoyed fried chicken sliders, chicken wings, mac and cheese balls, as well as a dinner of beef, tater tots and a host of other morsels of deliciousness. You couldn’t have asked for a better way to pass a Saturday afternoon. Especially with everyone dressed in flared jeans, platform shoes, flower crowns, too many patterns to mention, and tinted sunglasses!
Ardbeg Grooves is the latest addition to the eclectic collection of annual Scotch whisky expressions that the distillery has released to commemorate Ardbeg Day. They say it’s the ‘Grooviest thing to come out of the Ardbeg Distillery for decades’. I have to say I agree!
The Ardbeg Day bottling’s rarely last. So, make sure you get your hands on a bottle. Buy yours from your nearest Ardbeg Embassy, Dan Murphy’s or Vintage Cellar before it passes you by!
F&B Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a craft beer or whiskey tasting. Needs to stop buying books and start reading them.
Ardbeg Day in an annual event held every year across the globe in celebration of the Scottish whisky. It closes Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt, Fèis Ìle.