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Ardbeg experiments in Black Sea with Kelpie

LVMH Scotch whisky brand Ardbeg has released a limited-edition expression to bring Islay's Festival of Music and Malt to a close on Ardbeg Day, Saturday, 3 June 2017.

Ardbeg Kelpie is the first Ardbeg to be matured in Virgin Black Sea oak casks, which are known for the flavours they impart and rarely used in whisky making.

Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, claims he was inspired by the depth of flavour imparted by the Black Sea casks, grown and seasoned in the Adyghe Republic, which leads down to the Black Sea coast.

The whisky was then married with hallmark Ardbeg and matured in ex-bourbon barrels.

Distillery manager Michael Heads says: “Ardbeggians and their smoky malt friends will have the chance to celebrate with a dram or two of Ardbeg Kelpie.  With a heart matured in Black Sea casks, this whisky’s extraordinary depth and its waves of salty seaweed and tarry rope, hint at what might be hiding under the sea...”

“For now, the finer details of our plans for will remain a closely guarded secret, but rest assured Ardbeg Day 2017 will be another legendary worldwide celebration of all things Ardbeg.”

Ardbeg’s general release of Kelpie at 46% ABV, launches on Ardbeg Day (3 June), the expression will be available to purchase from Ardbeg Embassies for a two week exclusive period. Kelpie will then be available at Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists and department stores with a RRP of £98.00.

The Committee only release of Kelpie at 51.7% ABV was made available on 16 March 2017 exclusively from

24 March 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor