The Ardbeg distillery was founded in 1815 on the remote island of Islay, Scotland, by John Macdougall who obtained the then current license to open a distillery. In 1838 the distillery was acquired by the Buchanan family, a family of liquor and distillate merchants from Glasgow; under this management, around 1853, the distillery will be the first in history to be run by a woman. Following the growth of business, the distillery will be reacquired by the Macdougall family through Alexander Macdougall in 1922, which will again contribute to a further “boost” and growth in the quality of products and business. In 1977 the distillery was bought by Hiram Walker, but it was closed in 1981 with devastating consequences for the local economy; it will be acquired again by Allied Lyons in 1987, only to close again in 1991. In 1997 it will be reacquired again, this time by the Glenmorangie Distillery, and this time, in just one year, it will be voted as distillery of the year; Ardbeg, after various vicissitudes, has finally been reborn. The corporate style is easily recognizable as it expresses strong and complex notes of peat that intertwine with floral and fresh notes; in 2000 Ardbeg 10 years was launched and the foundations were laid to create a solid corporate structure in order to avoid a future and yet another closure. Ardbeg Uigeadail and other lines are also quickly launched, until 2008-2009 in which first Ardbeg 10 years and then Uigeadail are proclaimed Whiskey of the Year for two consecutive years.
To produce a single malt whiskey, the barley is first subjected to a malting process, during which the complex sugars/starches present in the cereal are broken down into simple sugars, suitable for alcoholic fermentation by the hands of the yeasts. This procedure takes place in three phases: the maceration of the cereal in water to moisten it, the germination, during which the barley, which has been removed from the water, absorbs oxygen and begins to produce the radicle and to germinate; this procedure in particular will release the enzyme which is responsible for the transformation of starches into simple sugars. Subsequently this procedure is interrupted and the cereal is dried, which often takes place using peat-powered ovens, which will give the typical hints of smoked or brackish. Subsequently, the dried barley is ground and added again with hot water for further extraction of the must; this is what will be subsequently fermented and then distilled. The specification provides that for the wording single malt the whiskey must come from a single distillery and be aged for at least three years in oak barrels in Scotland.
Deep amber yellow colour. Intense aroma of smoke and spices on the nose, intertwined with notes of ginger, candied lemon and fresh orange blossom, with a chocolate finish. The corporate style ensures that these pungent and strong notes of peat intertwine with fresher and more delicate notes, resulting in a unique olfactory profile, from which the notes of Scots pine, Arabica coffee, orange blossom and sea salt stand out. On the palate the whiskey is alcoholic, powerful, which returns to the overbearing notes of smoke and peat with a long and bewitching finish that also recalls dark chocolate.
Perfect at the end of a meal or as a meditation; particularly recommended for lovers of whiskey or smoky or intense flavors in general.