With An Oa, which is named after the rounded peninsula in the Southwest of Islay that shields the Kildalton distilleries from the roaring waves and raging winds of the Atlantic ocean, Ardbeg has recently added the first new bottling to its core range in almost 10 years! While the bracingly complex and subtly smoky malt has already been available in the UK for a few weeks, it will officially launch here in Germany six days from now on October 1st. Needless to that the release of another permanent Ardbeg expression is reason to celebrate! And thus Spirituosen Wolf, who are not only one of the best-sorted liquor stores in my hometown of Hamburg but also an official Ardbeg Ambassy, invited the Ardbeggians of Northern Germany to an An Oa barbecue in the spacious backyard of their premises.
As was the case at every Ardbeg event I attended so far, the guests got a whole lotta bang for their buck! The ticket price of 48 Euro not only got us free beers and softdrinks the whole evening plus an incredible three course menu from the awesome chaps of Kitchen Guerilla, but – most importantly – also an Ardbeg flatrate during the full duration of the event! Yes, that’s right. The friendly bar staff was happy to refill our glasses with generous sips of Ten, Uigeadail and Corryvreckan whenever we asked for more. Needless to say that everyone was in high spirits and talk among the attendees was lively and aplenty. As there also was a block party on the street in front of Spirituosen Wolf that evening, the air was filled with good vibes and loud music. I particularly liked the one-hour set by DJ Punk. I guess I do not need to tell you what kinda tunes he played…
While all of this was really great already, one important thing was still missing, namely the star of the evening. At 8pm Ardbeg’s brand ambassador Thomas Zilm took the stage and introduced us to An Oa with a voice so loud and powerful that it must have been hard for the people on the street to still hear any of DJ Punk’s tunes. As Thomas later told me, his pipes are well-trained from supporting his favorite club, SV Babelsberg 03, in the stadium. As soon as the first pours of An Oa were handed out, the malt won the attending drammers over in an instant, putting satisfied expressions onto their faces and sparking comments such as “This whisky definitely has character” and “What a complex dram”. Personally, I also enjoyed it a lot and had no less than four glasses of it, all of which were generously filled to liquid levels above the calibration mark. As I could not help but celebrate exuberantly with my fellow Ardbeggians, I was a bit too tipsy in the end to produce a substantial review of An Oa. But I will certainly share my own tasting notes of the new Ardbeg here on BarleyMania as soon as I had the chance to sip it calmly at home. In the meantime, I have but one important piece of advice: If Ardbeg throws a party near you, do not miss out on it by any means. These guys sure as hell know how to give their guests an unforgettable time!
Ardbeg An Oa (Single Malt Scotch Whisky / Islay / NAS / 46.6% / ~50.00 Euro)
Ardbeg Ten (Single Malt Scotch Whisky / Islay / 10yo/ 46% / ~42.00 Euro)
Ardbeg Uigeadail (Single Malt Scotch Whisky / Islay / NAS / 54.2% / ~62.00 Euro)
Ardbeg Corryvreckan (Single Malt Scotch Whisky / Islay / NAS / 57.1% / ~65.00 Euro)
Spirituosen Wolf @ Web: http://www.spirituosenwolf.com/ (Location)
Ardbeg @ Web: http://www.ardbeg.com/ (Distillery)
Spirit Ambassador @ Web: http://www.spirit-ambassador.de/ (Host)
Kitchen Guerilla: http://www.kitchenguerilla.com/ (Catering)