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Scotch meets Madeira in the new release from Ardbeg

Scotch whisky from Ardbeg aged in Malmsey Madeira wine casks

Ardbeg

As Scotch is a spirit steeped in history, it can have a reputation for being highly traditional. But while paying homage to tradition is well and good, some distilleries are also interested in exploring experimental spirits that push the boundaries of what whisky can be. Beloved Islay-based distillery Ardbeg has been doing that with its Anthology Collection, which uses unusual barrels to age its whisky to create intriguing new flavors.

The first bottle in the collection, The Harpy’s Tale, was released last year. Now, it is joined by a new expression: The Unicorn’s Tale. This whisky is aged in Malmsey Madeira wine and Bourbon casks for 14 years, bringing notes of banana, menthol, and lime to the party along with the expected generous smoke.

“At Ardbeg we love to experiment with how we can push our spirit’s smoky balance into new worlds of flavor,” said Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Whisky Creation. “Some time ago, we decided to try maturing Ardbeg in unusual cask types for the distillery to create sweet and smoky ‘hybrids’– and so the Anthology Collection was born.

“The Unicorn’s Tale is the second release in this series, which has been created by marrying classic Ardbeg matured in bourbon casks with a parcel of whisky wholly matured in sweet Madeira wine casks. The outcome is a whisky bursting with notes of banana bread and tropical fruit, fused with Ardbeg’s hallmark flavours of camphor, lime zest and wood smoke. This 14-year-old whisky may appear sweet in nature, but its smoky side is not to be underestimated!”

The release will be available for £130 ($165), with an abv of 46%, and will go on sale online and in specialist whisky shops.

Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet is a cocktail enthusiast based in Berlin, with an ever-growing gin collection and a love for trying out new…
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