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Ardbeg Spectacular: a limited edition dram capturing the spirit of the circus

Prepare for a whisky that's designed to perform

Ardbeg Spectacular: a limited edition dram capturing the spirit of the circus

When the worlds of whisky and the weird and wonderful circus top collide, the result is bound to be a one-off.

Introducing: Ardbeg Spectacular - a decidedly dark, limited edition release that captures the true spirit of the circus - and drops just in time for Ardbeg Day.

Yes, that really is a thing. Mark Saturday, June 1 in your diary, for this is one release that's not waiting around.

Held annually on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle), Ardbeg Day is a global celebration that captures the unconventional side of whisky.

This year's release is a truly twisted 46% ABV offering, with Ardbeg Spectacular a "curiously perfumed and aromatic" offering, according to the brand.

It's bound to rank up there among one of the most intriguing releases we've stumbled upon - and it might even make its way onto our best whisky shortlist.

Coming in at £110 a bottle, it's everything you'd expect from a limited edition release - even down to the circus-inspired graphics that adorn this vibrant bottle.

The first release from Ardbeg to be aged in port casks, this eye-catching release serves up something utterly unpredictable.

Fragrant lavender and incense candles combine with heavier notes of leather, wax and rich almond nuttiness on the nose, alongside gentle wisps of woodsmoke and damp peat moss.

Capture the dark spirit of the circus with Ardbeg Spectacular

On the palate, whisky fans can expect a viscous mouthfeel that combines a striking combination of salty, sweet and unami flavours.
Think peat smoke, eucalyptus oil, minty chocolate and toffee, combined with smoked pecans and tar.

If it sounds left-field and utterly indulgent, you'd be right.

Subtle sweet pear crumble also shines through with this release courtesy of the port casks, with hints of fudge lurking on the sidelines.
The finish combines sweet and cool, with an unusual hint of cooling menthol rounding off this truly "spectacular" whisky offering.

It's a showstopper, alright.

Gillian Macdonald, Ardbeg Master Blender, said: “Ardbeg Spectacular is a high-flying spirit, very befitting of Ardbeg Day. Its years in bourbon and port casks create a spectacle of flavours, the like of which Ardbeggians will never have tasted before.
"We invite fans to roll up and feast their palates on its peculiar notes of mint chocolate, incense, lavender and smoked nuts, set off by a daring double act of salted caramel and tar.
"Like the finest performances in the circus ring, this is a whisky not to be missed.”

Well then, it appears the time has come to venture to the circus.

Ardbeg Spectacular is available to purchase on from April 23, before rolling out nationwide.