Cult-favorite distillery Ardbeg is introducing a nostalgic single malt influenced by backyard barbeques.
The June debut of Ardbeg BizarreBQ will mark the first limited-release whisky from the Scotch distillery, per an emailed press release. The brand partnered with pitmaster Christian Stevenson (known in grilling circles as DJ BBQ) to innovate a single malt reminiscent of summertime barbeques and savory grilled steak.
An unusual cask toasting process contributes to the heavily charred and smokey character of the expression, per the brand. The whisky was created using double-charred oak, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and Ardbeg BBQ casks, all of which were charred further using a brazier tool before the whisky was barreled.
The brand’s tasting notes include aromas of charcoal and soot alongside more aromatic herbs, spices, and cinnamon-dusted espresso. On the palate, expect flame-grilled steak, tangy spice, cured leather, glove, and ginger, accompanied by a hot finish of black olives, artichoke, and soot.
“Ardbeg BizarreBQ is certainly a hare-brained idea, but with DJ BBQ’s help I was able to cook up something truly incredible,” director of whisky creation Bill Lumsden states in the release. “The undeniable smell of bonfire and BBQ embers linger in the background. Deep, warming smoke follows in flame-grilled steak, chili oil, cured leather, and clove. If there’s one Ardbeg you want with you grill-side, it’s this one.”
The expression, which lands at 50.9 percent ABV, launches in June for a cool $84.99. It will be available for purchase from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers, and at the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre.
The historic distillery on the isle of Islay, Scotland, was established in 1815 and specializes in smoke-forward, peaty Islay malt whiskies. Though it’s considered a more niche label in the wider whisky world, Ardbeg enjoys a substantial following among collectors online and across the globe.