Why Buy: If you're not an Ardbeggian, we have a pretty strong hunch you're going to be after tasting this one, which could not have been gifted a more fitting name: Spectacular. The latest limited-edition, one-of-a-kind whisky from the great Bill Lumsden (or, as we Ardbeggians refer to him, Dr. Bill), it's a commemoration of this year's one and only Ardbeg Day, a sacred day for Ardbeggians, and dazzled us from start to finish with its incomparable (and almost indescribable) braid of smokiness, savoriness, and sweetness.

Making History, part 1: For the first time in Ardbeg's history, this malt has been matured in rare port wine casks, then introduced into classic bourbon barrels. The benefit of that port wine casking? A sly sweetness in the mix.

Making History, part 2: Per Ardbeg: “This year, following feedback from fans about the overwhelming number of committee releases in previous years, Ardbeg will now be shifting to one Ardbeg Day bottling, as opposed to the standard Committee and General release.”

The Method: There're a lot of smoky single malts out there, but did you know that Ardbeg's is the smokiest? That's not idle speculation – that's fact: Ardbeg uses the most phenolic malt in the industry. But one of the great things about Dr. Bill is that he refuses to let that quality, strong and memorable as it is, carry the entire bottling. Here, he brings a wonderful mentholic character to the proceedings, along with a note of sweetness that had us reaching back into our memories for reference points (there were none; this is new). With such a riot of flavors, you might wonder how it all comes together – or even if it does. But the quiet part of Dr. Bill's wizardry – the part that is often overlooked – is that every single time he manages somehow to bring all these strong, sometimes disparate elements into balance and even harmony

Our Tasting Notes: Another Dr. Bill marvel. How the man known far and wide as "The Willy Wonka of Whisky" can concoct a single malt that is at once savory, smoky, and salty, is beyond us. Part of the fun here, after you have first taken in the beguiling aromas of lavender and incense, is to try to tease out all the reference points. Is that eucalpytus? Are you picking up on salted caramel? Do I detect smoked pecans? There's enormous richness, too, and sweetness – we were put in mind of both a pear crumble and a plate of fudge – and we love the way they take you to and through the finish, which sees you off with light but resonant notes of leather, salted caramel, and menthol.

ABV: 46% (92 proof).

Fun Fact: Most of the men and women who head up distilling operations are known as Master Distiller or Master Blender. Not Dr. Bill. This intrepid and restless innovator goes by a more fanciful, and more fitting, title: "Director of Whisky Creation." 

Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so rest assured – your single malt will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Order yours today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2024. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CT, GA, IL, KS, MI, NC, NY, TN, VA, & WA. This offer will expire on Tuesday, April 23, 2024.