Limited-Edition Whisky’s Brings The Spirit Of The Circus To Ardbeg Day

First Ardbeg aged in port casks sets the stage for a showstopping celebration in 2024

Held annually on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle), Ardbeg Day is a global celebration of all things Ardbeg. This year, festivities will take a show-stopping turn at the Distillery and around the world on Saturday 1st June, as Ardbeg marks the occasion with one of its most eclectic experiments to date – Ardbeg Spectacular.

The Distillery’s first whisky aged in port casks, this avant-garde limited edition showcases a spectacle of flavours never before tasted at Ardbeg. Vaulting on to the shoulders of classic bourbon-matured Ardbeg, whisky wholly matured in these port barrels brings a tumbling richness and an acrobatic twist of colour to the Islay malt. Dark chocolate cartwheels across the palate, mint walks the high wire, while aromas of candied fruit, incense candles and smoked pecans swing by on the trapeze.

Taking inspiration from the whisky’s deep, dark cavalcade of flavours — as sensational as any carnival act — the Islay single malt is inviting fans to join its very own “Dark Circus” on Ardbeg Day. For one day only, at the Distillery and at local events across the globe, whisky fans can delve into an offbeat and smoky Ardbeggian take on the circus, through intriguing tastings, outlandish games and an extravaganza of peaty delights.

Gillian Macdonald, Ardbeg Master Blender, said: “Ardbeg Spectacular is a high-flying spirit, very befitting of Ardbeg Day. Its years in bourbon and port casks create a spectacle of flavours, the like of which Ardbeggians will never have tasted before. We invite fans to roll up and feast their palates on its peculiar notes of mint chocolate, incense, lavender and smoked nuts, set off by a daring double act of salted caramel and tar. Like the finest performances in the circus ring, this is a whisky not to be missed.”

Jackie Thomson, Distillery Visitor Centre Manager and Ringmaster Extraordinaire, said: “This Ardbeg Day we will celebrate our whisky in the most spectacular style – from this new limited edition, to our core range favourites like Ardbeg Ten Years Old. I’m looking forward to entering into the spirit of the circus with fans at the Distillery, online and across the globe on 1st June, as we come together to juggle big, bold smoky flavours and marvel at the phenolic phenomenon that is Ardbeg!”

Ardbeg Spectacular will be available in the UK and on from 23rd April, RRP: £110. It will then be available in other markets from late April onwards.

For more news on Ardbeg Day 2024 and events near them, smoky malt whisky fans can join the Ardbeg Committee at

Ardbeg Spectacular Tasting Notes:

ABV: 46%
Colour: Sunset Orange
Aroma: Curiously perfumed and aromatic, a big top note of fragrant lavender tumbles into vetiver and incense candles. Down below, deeper notes of leather and wax dance alongside a rich almond nuttiness. A splash of water reveals gentle wisps of woodsmoke and damp peat moss. Hints of menthol hurl headlong into rich antique leather.
Taste: A viscous mouthfeel bursts forth to introduce a sparkling array of salty, sweet, and savoury flavours. Peat smoke, eucalyptus oil, minty chocolate and toffee mingle with smoked pecans, creosote, and tar. Subtle sweet pear crumble and fudge lurk in the background.
Finish: Finally, a long and lingering finale of salted caramel and cooling menthol brings this showstopping spectacle of flavour to a close.

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