Ardbeg_ArdbogIt’s peat and sweet. The 2013 Ardbeg special edition hit the lips of the faithful around the world last month.

Every year, the brand brings together the committee, a self selected group of Ardbeggians who love the brand and the chance to wear tweed. There are games and merch aplenty, but none of it feels forced. The food is hearty and plentiful and the whisky flows like water. It is one of the best brand experiences I’ve had in my life.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a bottle of this truly excellent drop. It has an unusual colour, what one might expect if you took wet peat from the bog and squeezed it. Clear, but from somewhere near where amber borders red.  On the nose the smoke is restrained but present, a more approachable but still definitive Islay experience. Salt and peppery spice in the mouth, lemons moving from tart juice to oily peel in a lingering finish, sweet all round with enough peat for the die-hards. I love it.

Make sure you join the committee for an invite to Ardbeg Day next year and a chance to sip away on the next committee release.

You can pick up a bottle of Ardbog from Dan’s for about $160