Tuesday, April 04, 2023


The Ardbeg Distillery, has today announced the launch of a new experimental limited-edition bottling, ahead of its annual day of celebrations (Ardbeg Day) on June 3rd.

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours (46% ABV) is their first whisky to be produced without a purifier – the apparatus on the still responsible for maintaining the balance between the extreme peat and floral fruitiness of their single malt.

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours

This creative experiment by Ardbeg’s Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, has allowed the heaviest vapours to rise up the still during the distillation process, before being captured, matured and bottled.

This latest single malt release from the Islay based distillery, has been launched to tie in with this year’s Ardbeg Day - as part of the 2023 Islay Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle). Following the distillery’s Planet Ardbeg comic launch last year, whisky lovers are invited to celebrate the theme of ‘Planet’ Ardbeg Day - where they can expect to be transported into Ardbeg’s mythical, graphic novel universe.

The expression’s unusual distillation process and resulting flavour has been brought to life in the accompanying graphic novel created by celebrated comic artist and illustrator, Dilraj Mann. The plot follows Agent 46 (AKA Jackie Thomson, Ardbeg Visitor Centre Manager and Committee Chair) – a plucky interplanetary detective on a quest to locate the elusive purifier and restore Ardbeg’s signature balance.

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours, is said to deliver notes of intense and aromatic smoke and hints of sweetness on the nose, followed by notes of coal dust, peppermint, cardamom, dark chocolate and eucalyptus on the palate.

Commenting on the launch, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: “A missing purifier is unprecedented for Ardbeg. This experiment was something I’ve always imagined trying – what would happen to the flavour and character of Ardbeg as we know and love it, by distilling in this unique way? Well, it’s now time for Ardbeg fans to find out; this is a full-blown dram where Ardbeg’s exalted balance has been disrupted in the most fantastic of ways ­– a truly captivating dram.”

Ardbeg Heavy Vapours, will be available next month from Ardbeg Embassies, whisky specialists, online retailers, and from the Distillery Visitor Centre, for a RRP of £120.00.

Posted by Steve Rush