Islay distillery Ardbeg has bottled a13-year-old whisky made using the longest fermentation in the producer’s history.
The limited edition bottling will launch on 1 February, and has been fermented for three weeks due to an ‘unplanned experiment’.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, said: “I’ve always wanted to experiment with longer fermentations, so I think an unintentional boiler breakdown was the best thing that could have happened.”
In 2007, after the distillery failed to fix a broken boiler, Lumsden instructed the team throw open the washback lids and expose the liquid to Islay air. As a result, a three-week fermentation began, said to be the longest in the whisky producer’s history.
Lumsden added: “For context, most Ardbeg is only fermented for 72 hours, making three weeks unchartered territory for us.
“The outcome is a dram that tastes like pure science fiction. Peat and smoke meld beautifully with fresh, floral flavours, while sharp, more malty notes give Ardbeg Fermutation a uniquely zingy profile.”
Ardbeg Fermutation is described as a ‘wild, zingy and vibrant’ whisky, and is available to members of The Ardbeg Committee for RRP £150 (US$203).
Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s distillery manager, said: “Blind luck is sometimes just part of the way we do things here at Ardbeg. But the creation of Fermutation wasn’t simply good fortune. Quick thinking, ingenuity and a little assistance from tiny beings in the atmosphere helped us get here.
“At 13 years old, this is of course an aged Ardbeg – something I’m sure our fans will be delighted to get their hands on.”
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