The Islay based Ardbeg Distillery, has announced that a one-of-a-kind 1975 cask of its single malt Scotch whisky has been sold to a private collector in Asia for £16 Million.
The 46 Year Old Cask No.3 (47.4% ABV) is the oldest ever to be released by Ardbeg, and is particularly rare due to the small amount of single malt produced at the distillery during the 1970s, and its closure through much of the 1980s and 1990s.
|Ardbeg Cask No.3|
Created at a time when the distillery still malted its barley onsite, the smoky, balanced spirit of Cask No. 3, was distilled on Tuesday, 25th November 1975, and laid down to age in two separate casks – a bourbon and an Oloroso sherry.
The casks were patiently matured by generations of Ardbeg’s skilled warehouse workers over 38 years. Then Ardbeg’s acclaimed Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, decided to marry the two casks, creating an even more extraordinary single malt. On 31st March 2014, he transferred the whisky into a single refill Oloroso butt.
Commenting on the whisky, Dr Bill Lumsden, who will oversee the cask’s ongoing maturation, said: “Cask No. 3 is an extraordinary taste of Ardbeg’s past. Its aromas are nutty, herbal and smoky, while its tastes of tar, espresso coffee and spearmint have an astonishing finesse for a whisky of such age. So little stock survives from this era, that this cask really is one of a kind. And its complex flavours are testament to the extraordinary skill of the Ardbeg team who have cared for it over the decades. I look forward to exploring how it continues to evolve over the next five years.”
Over the next five years, Ardbeg will continue to mature Cask No. 3 in a secure location on Islay for its owner. Every year, they will receive 88 bottles from the cask. By 2026, they will possess a unique vertical series of rare Ardbeg’s from 1975, aged 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 years old.
Posted by Steve Rush