Join the Whisky-Online Auction team and our special guest Lee ‘Connas’ Connor for our latest Virtual Whisky Tasting as we explore some classic old bottlings of Ardbeg!
We can't be on Islay for the Feis Ile this year, so we’re going back in time for this one! We'll be celebrating the Feis with a mouthwatering lineup of terrific Ardbegs from over a decade ago, when the distillery had only recently been revived. Hopefully we’ll be able to see you all at the Festival next year!
In the early years of the 20th century demand for Ardbeg was high but available stock for batches of Ardbeg 10-year-old was beginning to run low due to gaps in the distillery’s production history prior to the 1997 Glenmorangie takeover.
In late 2003, Ardbeg bottled a young cask strength whisky for their fan club - the Ardbeg Committee - to explore the possibility of releasing younger whiskies while the newly-distilled stock was maturing.
Priced at the princely sum of £25, Ardbeg 1997 Very Young ‘For Discussion’ was the first release of whisky distilled after the Glenmorangie takeover and was only 6 years old. The Committee response to Ardbeg ‘For Discussion’ was rapturous, and the so-called Path to Peaty Maturity was set in motion.
Between 2004 and 2008 four different editions of cask strength Ardbeg 1998 were released as The Path to Peaty Maturity range, allowing Ardbeg fans to taste for themselves how the new spirit made at the distillery was evolving as each year passed on the journey towards the new Ardbeg 10-year-old.
Nicknamed the ‘Young’ series, these whiskies were a huge hit with the ever-growing legion of Ardbeg fans - in fact, several of them required multiple batches.
Today the Young series whiskies are getting tougher to find, and all of them now sell for many times their initial release prices, which ranged from £25 for Ardbeg Very Young to £41 for Ardbeg Renaissance.
For this tasting we’ll be trying the full Path to Peaty Maturity series, from the initial ‘For Discussion’ Committee bottling of Ardbeg 1997, through the legendary Ardbeg Very Young, Still Young, Almost There and finally the Ardbeg Renaissance, the triumphant cask strength Ardbeg 10-year-old released in 2008 to finish the series.
As an extra special bonus, we’ve also got a bottle of the Ardbeg Rollercoaster, a small batch multi-vintage Ardbeg released in 2010 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee.