Punk and Scotch Whisky may seem like worlds apart. But one whisky maker is changing that perception.
Ardbeg is spiking its mohawk and studding its leather jacket with the debut of Ardcore, a snarling, punk-themed single malt designed to raise hell in the whisky world. The Sex Pistols-style expression is the latest in a series of limited edition bottling that celebrates Ardbeg Day on 4 June 2022, which falls annually on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt in Scotland.
The Islay distillery, however, is not just lip synching. According to them, Port Ellen, the island’s main port, was a hotbed for anti-establishment movements in the 1970s, which got it nicknamed as Punk Ellen. There was even a punk posse, whose numbers swelled to a whopping three members at the height of their notoriety.
Ardbeg is known for their distinctly peaty whiskies, but Ardcore smashes the bar faster than punks going through guitars. For this release, they turned to black malt that’s been incinerated beyond good taste. Bottled at 46 percent ABV, the non-age statement whisky spits spice, soot and savoury notes, or “like biting on a spiky ball,” said Ardbeg’s Head of Distilling and Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden.
“Ardcore is a dram that wears its heart on its sleeve – its black heart,” he said. “Created with roasted black malt, burnt to hair-raising levels, this spirit is all about substance. Notes of charcoal and sweet smoke make for an in-your-face nose, while potent notes of aniseed and dark chocolate stamp this bottle out as one fit only for the most Ardcore of fans.”
For local whisky fans wanting to jump into the mosh pit, Ardbeg Day will be livestreamed on 4 June. The debacle starts at 9am GMT+1 (4pm SGT), and will involve boisterous tastings, deafening music, and raucous revelry.