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Matured in Pinot Noir casks, this is a rich and intense malt, created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Ardbeg Committee.
The Ardbeg Committee
Like many distilleries, Ardbeg, based on the Isle of Islay, has an exclusive members club. Called the Committee, the club is the life blood of the distillery, keeping fans connected and introducing new malts exclusively for those involved. It even reaches right around the world and has over 120,000 members.
Perhaps what is most unique about the Ardbeg Committee is that it is free to join. It is open to everyone and exists to share the joy of Ardbeg whisky. There is a special part of the Ardbeg website dedicated to Committee members and every now and then Ardbeg will release an expression just for the Committee. Often these will be made available at a later date for non-members.
This is an exciting way to engage with customers, and one that while done by other distilleries, is often not free. Ardbeg open their membership to everyone and have been very successful with it so far.
Ardbeg Blaaack Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Committee was first formed on the 1/1/2000, making this year their 20th anniversary. Which is pretty impressive.
To celebrate, the distillery have crafted an incredible malt, matured in Pinot Noir casks from New Zealand. Never has a richer or more sophisticated malt been made.
The nose begins with long notes of truffles, heather and oak wood. It is really rich and smooth. Peat smoke seeps in between. Lively citrus and fruit jam flavours appear and bring in a wonderful tartness. Baked pastries and a hint of seaside round off well.
The palate is equally brilliant. It starts off with aromatic notes of aniseed and fennel, followed closely by strawberry jam and summer berries. Black cherries play a big role here, bringing a lovely sweet darkness to the flavour. This goes perfectly with the smoky, sooty peat notes. More pastries come through alongside notes of chocolate and coffee.
The finish is bold, as it always is with Ardbeg. It is full of oak wood and peat smoke, which linger just long enough.
Yet another excellent release from Ardbeg, this is a sumptuous and luxurious dram. We wish it could be the Committee’s 20th anniversary every year if we get to drink this!
What do you think of Ardbeg and their Committee? Let us know in the comments.
My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.