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Ardbeg unveils ultra rare £21,000 The Abyss comic book collaboration

The 35-year-old Tradd Moore designed limited release is a graphic novel fan's dream

Ardbeg unveils ultra rare £21,000 The Abyss comic book collaboration

Ardbeg have been on a winning streak of late, having dropped the eye-popping Ardbeg Spectacular.

Now, the Moët Hennessy-owned brand is at it again, unveiling a 34-year-old dram of epic proportions in collaboration with American comic-book artist Tradd Moore.

An ultra-rare €25,000 release, Ardbeg The Abyss is the product of an Ardbeg legend and fan favourite, with the limited edition bottling inspired by the 2008 Committee release of Corryvreckan.

The Scotch whisky brand has dipped into the archives (or rather, the storehouse) to deliver a taste of history reimagined as part of this 400 bottle run.

Ardbeg The Abyss harnesses the same unique casks used to create the original Corryvreckan release, with maturation taking place in heavily toasted French oak casks.

These aren't just your run-of-the-mill casks; we're talking ultra-active, heavily toasted French oak casks that adhere to an exact historical specification to replicate the 1989 release.

Ardbeg unveils ultra rare €25,000 The Abyss comic book collaboration

The original spirit was first aged in bourbon casks, before being finished in the unique, ‘ultra-active’ French oak casks.

In simple terms, it makes them far more powerful than a standard French oak barrique casks - think maturation on steroids - something Ardbeg says gives this dram "hair-raising powers".

We like the sound of that.

Needless to say, the rarity comes from the fact that only a handful of those historic casks survive to this day.

And that's not even the best part, as each of the 400 individually numbered bottles will come complete with a specially designed Tradd Moore comic book.

Bottled at cask strength 48.4% ABV, the limited release sees Moore step in to lend a hand, adding something truly unique to this distinctive release.

Moore brings the legend of the Corryvreckan whirlpool to life, with the one-of-a-kind mesmerising graphic novel set on ‘Planet Ardbeg’.

The whirlpool is located North of Ardbeg’s Scottish island home, where, according to legend, the Viking prince Breacan anchored his ship for three days and nights.

It was all in a bid to win the hand of the Lord of the Isles’ daughter.

Ardbeg unveils ultra rare €25,000 The Abyss comic book collaboration

However, before he could manage it he was lost to the watery depths of the Atlantic, how tragic.

“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," says Tradd.
"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 journey into mystery, he sees the abyss, enters the unknown and is swept up and surprised by what he finds,” he adds.

If The Abyss is a little outside your price range, the distillery will also be releasing 1,000 limited edition bottles of the core range Ardbeg Corryvreckan, featuring four individual label designs by Moore.

It's a pictorial tale of epic proportions, with this sea-inspired release the colour of 'deep autumn sunset'.

The liquid combines the aromas of marshmallow, aromatic tea leaves and sourdough bread.

On the palate, you'll notice a mellow mouthfeel, with a hint of spice that combines with dark chocolate, leather and nutty toffee.

If you thought the Spectacular was a work of art, think again.

All limited edition bottles can be purchased from the Ardbeg visitors centre on the island of Islay from June.