Ardbeg’s first travel retail-exclusive whisky

by Melita Kiely

Islay-based Ardbeg has created its first travel retail-exclusive whisky series, called Ardbeg Smoketrails.

The range has been designed to explore how different casks impact the signature Ardbeg whisky style. The release from the new series is Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition. It combines malt whisky matured in Ardbeg American oak casks, and Manzanilla Sherry casks from Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain. Sitting at 46% ABV, the whisky will be available in select airports around the world and at 'travel destination' Ardbeg Distillery. Dr Bill Lumsden, head of distilling and whisky creation at Ardbeg, said: “In Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition, salty sea spray and deep, nutty notes mingle with pungent aromas of soot, dark chocolate and brazil nuts. “Clouds of pine and fennel fill the senses with notes of saddle soap and aniseed trailing gently behind. All I have to say to anybody who lays their hands on a bottle is get ready for a smoky blast.” To celebrate the launch, parent company Moët Hennessy has teamed up with Dufry and Heathrow Airport in the UK to create a pop-up in Terminal 5. Travellers are invited to take a ‘journey’ to discover more about the new release. They will have the choice between sampling cocktails or tasting the whisky neat, and pairing it with premium sea salt chocolate. Furthermore, a select few will receive a collector bandana. Colin Gordon, Ardbeg Distillery manager, said: “For each Smoketrails release we’ll pack our suitcase and zig zag across the globe in search of new flavour adventures – in this case, to the Spanish coast for the finest Manzanilla casks. "With a unique batch code on this and future bottlings, we hope Ardbeggians will jump at the chance to get their hands on this delectable, collectable dram when they are on their travels.” Earlier this month, a bottle of Ardbeg whisky from 1974 sold for £35,000 (US$39,893) at auction, setting a record price for a single bottle from the Islay distillery. In August, the Scotch whisky brand partnered with three artists to create its first sci-fi graphic novel.

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