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Ardbeg Looks Back On The Millennium With The Ardbeg Vintage Y2K

The Ardbeg Vintage Y2K. Credit: Ardbeg Distillery

Ardbeg Distillery is reflecting on a pivotal point in its history, as well as celebrating the spirit of the new millennium with the release of the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K. 

Bootcut jeans, Nokia 3310s, and the prospect of a technological doomsday. The turn of the millennium was a significant event around the world. It was also incredibly significant for the Ardbeg Distillery, Islay. 

Distilled in the year 2000 and bottled 23 years later the new Ardbeg Vintage Y2K was matured in a combination of high quality ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks. The result is a whisky that is: “Intensely sweet and classically peaty.”

Ardbeg Vintage Y2K Tasting Notes

According to Ardbeg Distillery, the tasting notes for the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K are as follows: 

ABV: 46%

Colour: Pale Amber

Aroma: Herbal, sweet and fragrant, with a subtle, distant perfumed smokiness.  A closer inspection reveals a quirky, zesty note like lemon balsam, along with a suggestion of linseed oil and candied walnuts. With a splash of water, the fragrance intensifies, with a note of heather honey, a touch of creosote and the tiniest hint of tent canvas.

Taste: The texture is fizzy and sherbet-like, with a vibrant effervescence on the tongue. The initial flavour is intensely sweet, with a burst of aniseed, toffee, digestive biscuits, peppermint, menthol, tar and coffee grounds. Sooty and tarry flavours then build. 

Finish: The long, lingering aftertaste reveals antiseptic lozenges, bitter orange peel and oak tannins.”

The New Millennium At Ardbeg 

The arrival of the new millennium heralded a new era for Ardbeg Distillery. Following a difficult period throughout the 1980s and 1990s (including two periods of mothballing), Ardbeg Distillery was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997. Large investments saw the distillery restored to its former glory and spirit flow from the stills once more. 

While the world rang in the year 2000 with celebrations, the stills at Ardbeg kept running. As such, the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K contains whisky distilled at the Islay distillery in the early part of the new millennium. The spirit was also distilled using Ardbeg’s historic still which was subsequently retired from service in 2001. 

The year 2000 also saw the establishment of the Ardbeg Committee. The committee was established in February 2000 by a group of Ardbeg fans dedicated to ensuring the continued prosperity of the distillery. Today, the committee is a global network of Ardbeg fans comprising over 180,000 members as of May 2024. 

Buy The Ardbeg Vintage Y2K 

Speaking about the release of the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K, Master Distillery Bill Lumsden said: “Ardbeg Vintage Y2K is a phenomenal souvenir of a pivotal year at Ardbeg. Crafted at the dawn of a new era in our historic still, this ultra-rare whisky has been stowed carefully at the Distillery ever since. Herbal, citrusy and sweet on the nose, before soot, peppermint and coffee explode on the palate, this retro collectors’ classic is pure Ardbeg nostalgia.” 

Jackie Thomson, Committee Chair and Distillery Visitor Centre Manager, said: “The turn of the millennium was a milestone for Ardbeg in so many ways – not least the formation of our Committee, the lifeblood of Ardbeg. With Y2K fashion and culture now back with a vengeance, we’re inviting Ardbeggians to turn back time to a remarkable year and enjoy the spirit of Ardbeg Vintage Y2K.” 

Members of the Ardbeg Committee can register their interest in the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K on the distillery website. The bottle will be available across the UK in July for an RRP of £670. 

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Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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