Ardbeg An Oa Islay Single Malt Whisky is a brand new whisky release from this superb Islay distillery. It was first launched in the UK in September 2017.
The Ardbeg distillery was officially founded in 1815 by the MacDougall family. It has seen a chequered history and struggled through the 1970s until it was mothballed in 1981. There was some sporadic production in the years thereafter until 1997 when Ardbeg was taken over by Glenmorangie Plc which was then owned by Pernod Ricard. Today the distillery (along with Glenmorangie) is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy and grows from strength to strength. They are famous for there heavily peated whiskies however, the Ardbeg An Oa is a sweeter style and is a good entry point to the Ardbeg range for those who don’t like the full on smoky, peaty experience.
Ardbeg An Oa is assembled in Ardbeg’s new, bespoke “Gathering Vat”. It is in here that the various components of the blend – whiskies from several cask types including; sweet Pedro Ximenez; spicy virgin charred oak; and intense ex-bourbon casks, amongst others – blend and meld with each other. The result is a dram with smoky power, mellowed by a delectable, smooth sweetness. Hallmark Ardbeg peat, dark chocolate and aniseed are wrapped in smooth, silky butterscotch, black pepper and clove, before rising to an intense crescendo of flavour.
Bottled non chill-filtered at 46.6% ABV.
Ardbeg An Oa is named after the Mull of Oa whose towering cliffs help to shelter the distillery from the worst of the incoming Atlantic weather conditions.