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Ardbeg Revives An “Ardbeggian icon” With 34 Year Old The Abyss Priced At $27,000

Let The Abyss take you to a new realm. Credit: Ardbeg

Ardbeg Distillery, Islay, has today announced the rebirth of an “Ardbeggian icon” in the release of Ardbeg The Abyss priced at ~$27,000. This 34 Year Old deep and rich Islay whisky constitutes an extension of an Ardbeg fan favorite, the Ardbeg Corryvreckan, first released in 2008. 

In celebration of Ardbeg The Abyss’ release, acclaimed American comic book artist, Tradd Moore (Marvel Comics, DC Comics), has created a graphic novel set on ‘Planet Ardbeg’. In the story, Moore reimagines the legend of the Viking prince Breacan and the famed Corryvreckan whirlpool, the original whisky’s namesake. 

Ardbeg The Abyss 

Back in 2008, Ardbeg Distillery released the Ardbeg Corryvreckan exclusively to members of the Ardbeg Committee. The whisky was distilled in 1989 and aged in bourbon casks prior to a finishing period in “ultra-active” French oak casks that had been toasted to exacting standards. 

The resulting whisky had “hair-raising depths”, and quickly became a fan favorite. 

Due to its popularity, most of this 1989 spirit was bottled for the Corryvreckan releases. However, a select few casks were tucked away and continued to slumber. 

Now, that remaining spirit has been bottled as Ardbeg The Abyss. The extra-long maturation period has resulted in “rich and unusually dark” whisky. The Abyss “draws drinkers deep into swirls of toasted marshmallows and tea leaves, while notes of dark chocolate, pecan, leather and creosote circle nearby”, according to Director of Whisky Creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden. 

The whisky is presented in a silver capsule “which looks set to travel to other realms”, and is inspired both by space and the sea. Such themes are explored in Tradd Moore’s new graphic novel.

Ardbeg The Abyss, and the accompanying comic, will be available to purchase from the Distillery Visitor Centre,, and through the Moët Hennessy Private Client channel for £21,250 (~$27,143). 

Tradd Moore & The Ardbeg Abyss Graphic Novel

Tradd Moore has reimagined the legend of Prince Breacan and the Corryvreckan whirlpool. Credit: Ardbeg

American comic book author and artist, Tradd Moore, celebrates the revival and development of the Ardbeg Corryvreckan with a new graphic novel. Each of the 400 limited-edition Ardbeg The Abyss bottles will come with a copy of the comic. 

The graphic novel explores the legend of Viking prince Breacan and the Corryreckan whirlpool, located between the islands of Jura and Scarba. Legend has it that Breacan anchored his ship in the Gulf of Corryvreckan for three days and three nights. He had hoped to win the hand of the Lord of the Isles’ daughter. However, he and his ship were lost to the whirlpool.

Tradd Moore, drawing on this legend, images Prince Breacan having traveled through the whirlpool to another realm, emerging on ‘Planet Ardbeg’. 

Commenting on his involvement, Moore said: “When I visited Islay, everything felt holistic: the island itself, the people, the stories. From visiting the whirlpool to trying to swirl whisky in the glass, it all felt interconnected. I’m a big fan of mythology and as soon as I heard the legend of Corryvreckan, I just knew I wanted to reflect The Abyss’s mysterious depths through the story of Prince Breacan. On his own journey into mystery, he sees the abyss, enters the unknown and is swept up and surprised by what he finds…”

Ardbeg The Corryvreckan Limited Edition 

The Corryvreckan Whirlpool. Credit: Safehaven Marine. Frank Kowalski (YouTube).

Paying homage to Ardbeg Corryvreckan’s role in the creation of the Abyss, 1,000 limited edition bottles are set to be released. These bottles will feature one of four labels designed by Moore as pages in The Abyss graphic novel. 

These bottles will be available exclusively from the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre.

Ardbeg The Abyss Tasting Notes

Official tasting notes courtesy of Ardbeg Distillery: 

ABV: Cask Strength 48%
Colour: Deep autumn sunset
Aroma: Rich, pungent and aromatic but mellow, deep and gentle at the same time. There are aromas of toasting marshmallows, aromatic tea leaves, roasted chestnut, baking sourdough bread and something altogether zestier, like lemon balsam. A lingering, background sweetness, like demerara sugar, and then a hint of antique leather. A splash of water opens up the bouquet, to revel more herbal top notes, with a whisper of lemon sherbet and some pine resin.
Taste: A wonderfully mellow mouthfeel with a hint of spiciness, is followed by bold flavours of dark chocolate, pecan nut toffee, old leather, clove, ginger and a touch of treacle and creosote.
Finish: The smoke is always there, but beautifully integrated with the oak tannins, hints of baked apple and aniseed.” 

Learn more about the iconic distilleries on Islay here. And, see here for another example of Ardbeg’s genius marketing.

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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