Ardbeg Day has become one of the biggest events on our annual calendar. It’s when we get together with our like-minded single malt whisky loving friends (let’s call them GOB SMACT) and celebrate one of our favourite whisky brands.
The Ardbeg distillery is located in single malt heartland, on the island of Islay, just off the west coast of Scotland. Ardbeg Day is an international celebration with events organised around the globe. This year, the theme is football (the World Cup has a lot to answer for) and we’ve been alerted to an Ardbeg Day foosball championship (or Ardbeg Whisky World Cup) at Melbourne’s Whisky and Alement.
After a sumptuous yumcha lunch at the Shark Fin Inn beneath a dazzling chandelier …
… our crew of fifteen wanders the few blocks to Whisky and Alement only to learn we’re an hour early for the official event.
“Give us five minutes,” says Julian, the proprietor.
True to his word, within five minutes Julian is ushering us inside. We pay homage to the breathtaking “wall of whisky” and eagerly watch our first drams being poured from a giant golden bottle of Auriverdes, Ardbeg’s latest release expression.
It’s ear-to-ear grins and slaintes all round as we sample the new drop. At $10 a pour, it’s hard to be anything but delighted.
We climb onto stools towards the front of the dimly lit bar, discussing the merits of Auriverdes. Punters battle out the foosball comp down the back, in the bowels of the bar, but we’re oblivious to the cheering. We’re more interested in the $10 pours and the “special” bottle of 10-year old Ardbeg someone has carefully secreted in a shopping bag. Deals are done with the legendary Super Procurer. Fists full of dollars are handed over on the promise of rare bottles to be had and harboured.
As the afternoon drifts on, the pours get more generous and the laughter more hearty. The foosball winners are announced and we toast their success (with more drams). The Ardbeg brand rep makes a cameo appearance. We toast to him, the giant golden bottle of Auriverdes, Ardbeg Day and the warm company of whisky loving friends.
Single malt whisky just makes life better. And never more so than on Ardbeg Day.
I’ve been contacted by The Whisky Club, a new group of single malt whisky purveyors that offer members specially-selected and sourced monthly bottles of whisky. Looks like a great way to sample whiskies you might not normally try. Check it out if you’re keen. Bertie Cason, the Whisky Club founder thought you (my readers) might be interested. In his words: “The Whisky Club is for whisky lovers at all stages of their whisky journey. Whether you are curious about learning more about the category or are a seasoned traveller just looking for something a little different each month, then this is for you.”
***This is not a sponsored post.