Ardbeg Traigh Bhan
19 YEARS OLD
OUT OF THE DARK ...
AND INTO THE LIGHT
Produced in small batches and released year on year, this exceptionally rare and ever-changing 19 year old draws its inspiration from Islay’s Traigh Bhan beach, known locally as the Singing Sands.
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 3 is the third release in this exclusive 19 year old series. Following in the footsteps of the batches that came before it, slight changes to cask selection mean the notes in this whisky vary from the last. Batch 3 has evolved into an overall more spicy dram. An impossibly balanced flavour profile gives rise to delicate notes of zesty lime and walnuts alongside bolder flavours of cayenne pepper and aniseed.
However, while changes to the liquid may be subtle, the story behind Batch 3 is something entirely unique...
A whisky resigned to the furthest reaches of the Ardbeg Warehouse, Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old Batch 3 was one of the only spirits in the Distillery’s history to be bottled in the midst of a global lockdown.
Having spent months on end behind closed doors, this unprecedented bottling is now ready to come out from the dark… and into the light.
ARDBEG'S LOCKDOWN LIQUID
It’s no secret that we live in uncertain times. But, if there’s one thing we can all be certain about… it’s the next batch of Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old.
When the global lockdown hit, the whisky industry came to a grinding halt. With nobody in or out of Ardbeg’s doors, and nobody to tend to the disgorging and bottling of our precious malt, the fate of Batch 3 hung in the balance. Only Yogi was around to sneak a peek behind the warehouse doors to check the malt was where he left it!
LIGHT AT THE OF THE FUNNEL
Nevertheless, the Distillery vowed to capture every last drop of this rare liquid, bottling it when the whisky world stood still. The place was eerily quiet. But social distancing measures meant the team were able to release Batch 3 from its casks. Only using a one-way system and only stood 6 metres apart from each other, they funnelled themselves along and the liquid out.
Thankfully, one way and not another, the Distillery team managed to empty the casks. The aromas during disgorging were said to be incredible, it’s just a shame there was only a handful of people there to experience it!
An Islay local wearing their maask.
“BATCH 3 IS AN EXTRAORDINARY DRAM. DIFFERENT FROM ITS PREDECESSORS IN FAR MORE THAN JUST TASTE, THIS 19 YEAR OLD IS A FIRST FOR ARDBEG AND A COLLECTOR’S DREAM.”
– DR BILL LUMSDEN
THE BATCH CODE... DECODED
TB – Traigh Bhan, the beach known locally as the Singing Sands and the place that inspired this bottling.
03 – The batch number. With this number, you can identify each release of Traigh Bhan.
10.10.01 – The date indicating the age of the youngest spirit distilled each year – 2001 in this bottling’s case.
BL – The initials of a Distillery member who helped create the bottling for that year. This year’s bottling features our Head Whisky Creator, Bill Lumsden.
With subtle changes in the batch recipe annually, Ardbeg fans will enjoy exploring the finer details of this transformational whisky every time it comes around. This means that each bottle of Ardbeg Traigh Bhan is special, and once it’s gone, it’s gone
A HEAVENLY VISTA
From the Ardbeg Distillery to Port Ellen and beyond, follow the rocky coast and you will discover the heavenly vista of Traigh Bhan (pronounced tri-van). This captivating beach has soft white sands that sing beneath your feet, and a spellbinding hum that ebbs and flows with the winds and tides.
But beguiling as this place is, do not drop your guard. Bathing here is ill advised in the seemingly tame crystal waters where jagged, volcanic rocks pierce the sands along the shore.
The essence of Traigh Bhan is captured in this exquisite bottling. Like so many Ardbegs, it’s an iconic Islay location that has given birth to another iconic Islay dram.
CASK SELECTION – ACHIEVING THE IMPOSSIBE BALANCE
The epitome of an aged Ardbeg – matured in American oak and Oloroso sherry casks – Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old Batch 3 achieves the impossible balance.
Each batch of Traigh Bhan will be a slight variation on the last. This is due to minor changes in the cask selection. The main difference with Batch 3 is that it has been imbued with an altogether more fragrant, spicy character.
A rush of rich, sappy textures is followed moments later by classic sweet smokiness. Tarry rope and treacle toffee plunge the palate into a second wave of soot and aniseed twists. Smoke bobs on the horizon, while smoked brown sugar, walnuts and spices gently dissolve away. A long, unhurried finish carries bitter almonds and clove in its wake, before slowly drifting away.
THE ARDBEG COMMITTEE
When Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 3 began on its peaty path to maturity in the year 2001, the Ardbeg Committee was less than a year old. Back then, we at the Distillery knew all of our Committee Members by name. We’d even receive regular faxes from some of them!
Twenty years on, while times have changed, the Committee remains – albeit with a few thousand more members...
To find out about the next Ardbeg Traigh Bhan release you'll need to be part of the Committee. So if you’re not already a member, what are you waiting for?JOIN THE COMMITTEE