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Ardbeg's New Rare Cask 101 Is A Masterclass With 47 Year Old Ultra Aged Expression


NASA unveils the first space shuttle, the Enterprise; Apple Computer Company was founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the first commercial Concorde flight takes off, the hit movie "Rocky" was released to theatres... but also,

Ardbeg makes whisky.

Islay giant Ardbeg is giving us a masterclass on Rare Cask 101 with its new ultra aged 47 year old expression.

Given that Scotch whiskies can only carry age statements reflecting the age of the youngest component - in this case, spirit that was distilled in April 1976, and bottled in June 2023, this might imply that the Rare Cask 101 expression might even carry whiskies older than 47 years old.

The expression will see a total of 225 bottles, and was finished in a 1st Fill Oloroso Hogshead, weighing in at 40% ABV - which considering its age, is quite a feat.



This expression is also of particularly historic value for the Islay stalwart considering the numerous regimes it spans.

The youngest spirit would have been produced before its 1981 halt, which lasted till 1989, and even then production had remained low until 1996, during which it was operated under Hiram Walker (DCL-Hiram Walker and then Hiram Walker entirely in 1977) and then Allied Distillers (which acquired Hiram Walker); it then crosses over to the distillery's acquisition by Glenmorangie which saw it reopen and resume in full only in 1998, and then by 2004, having moved once more over to LVMH's ownership.

During those tumultuous times, Ardbeg went from being a supplier of peated malt whisky for blends, to having had to vie against its Islay neighbour, and then subsequently put for sale, acquired and revived, and step by step built back up to the giant that it is today.

It's also seen its fair share of changing of the guards from as far back as Ed Dodson who reopened the distillery in 1997, to Stuart Thomson, and then Mickey Heads, followed by most recently, Colin Gordon; while Dr Bill Lumsden who also oversees the Glenmorangie Distillery, remains the current Master Distiller.

This is definitely one for the history books!



88 Bamboo Editorial Team