I’ve become an ardent Ardbegian thanks to the amazing tasting experience arranged for us on Thursday July 21st by Korinne Munson (Dir. Communications & Digital at Moet Hennessy) and her co-host, Nate Ganapathi, renowned whisky instagrammer @singlemaltdaily.com.
Here are the 5 key reasons why this tasting event was so cool:
- The “insidery” vibe created by inviting only this small group of high profile social media whisky experts. I was impressed to see Ardbeg cultivating a new younger generation of whisky aficionados.
- The Boardroom! Having the tasting in the Moet Hennessy boardroom, after hours, made it super exclusive – and dialed up the “insider” quotient.
- The excellent whisky ambassador, Dan Crowell. He took us through the tastings and shared his knowledge of the distilling process, how to serve Ardbeg – with a splash of water, or not? The narrative of whisky is magical and Dan brings it to life in an incredibly charming way.
- Virtual Reality videos (w/equipment provided by Samsung) tell the story of Ardbeg and Islay, where the distillery is located. The gorgeous island of Islay, on the Western coast of Scotland, is remote and hard to get to – but after seeing these videos, I understand why whisky enthusiasts see it as a pilgrimage spot and travel there (fathers and sons, bachelor parties, men proposing to their girlfriends at their favorite distillery). It is very much a cult thing for some whisky aficionados.
- Finally, but most importantly, the four whiskies we tasted. I’ve long been a fan of smoky, peaty spirits and one of my favorite cocktails is The Penicillin so Ardbeg is right up my alley. The four we tasted included Ardbeg Ten, Ardbeg Uigeadail (named after Loch Uigeadail, the natural water source for Ardbeg which is the only distillery on Islay to have its own Loch), Ardbeg Corryvreckan – which is named after the Corryvreckan, the third largest whirlpool in the world, and Ardbeg Dark Cove. My favorite is the Ardbeg Ten which is the smokiest and also the one used in the cocktail we were served at arrival.