In 1997, Glenmorangie bought over Ardbeg Distillery, and commenced refrubishment and production of their own spirit. The first of the latter was casked in 1998, making 2008 the tenth year of maturation of this spirit. While they have tanatalised aficionados with their 'Very Young', 'Still Young', and 'Almost There' in the intervening years, finally the real proof of the pudding, so to speak emerged in time for release at this year's Festival of Malt and Music; Ardbeg Renaissance. Hamish Torrie, Ardbeg Brand Director, says: 'Renaissance is a celebration of the re-opening of Ardbeg Distillery in 1997 by The Glenmorangie Company and is the last opportunity to track the progress of Ardbeg distilled in 1998 as it has now developed its full, distinctive and distinguished smoky and peaty character. 'As with all Ardbeg, this is a limited release to celebrate 10 years of 'revival' and as such marks a pivotal point in the development of the brand and distillery.'
For those of you who didn't manage to buy a bottle during the Islay Festival, will have to wait until the end of the month, when Ardbeg Renaissance will be available from local stockists in Asia and Europe, and of course from the (online) shop at Ardbeg. A quote from the Ardbeg website: "Ardbeg Renaissance â€“ weâ€™ve (very nearly) arrived! Weâ€™re about to take the final step on the path to peaty maturity... Ardbeg Renaissance, the eldest in our family of young Ardbegs. Released in limited quantities at 'full strength', it has a deeper, fuller spectrum of Ardbeg flavours. A supernova of aromas and tastes is released as a heady sophistication rises from the deepest peat â€“ the pinnacle of peaty maturity." If the taste is only half as good as the description given, Ardbeg has a real winner here!