Food & Drinks

Ardbeg reveals new Committee-only release

Scotch whisky maker Ardbeg is pushing the boundaries of fermentation in its new Committee-only release, Ardbeg Fermutation.

The new expression, which launches exclusively to members of the Ardbeg Committee on 1 February, has been created using the longest fermentation in the brand’s history.

The 13-year-old expression came about by “happy accident”, according to the distillery team. After a boiler failure in November 2007, which threw six washbacks of liquid into jeopardy, Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, spied an opportunity for an experiment.

He ordered that the washback lids be opened to expose the liquid to the Islay air. So began an epic three-week fermentation – the longest ever for an Ardbeg whisky, and much longer than its standard 72 hours.

Dr Bill said: “I’ve always wanted to experiment with longer fermentations, so I think an unintentiontional boiler breakdown was the best thing that could have happened!

“The outcome is a dram that tastes like pure science fiction. Peat and smoke meld beautifully with fresh, floral flavours, while sharp, more malty notes give Ardbeg Fermutation a uniquely zingy profile.”

Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s distillery manager, said: “Blind luck is sometimes just part of the way we do things here at Ardbeg. But the creation of Fermutation wasn’t simply good fortune: quick thinking, ingenuity and a little assistance from tiny beings in the atmosphere helped us get here. At 13 years old, this is of course an aged Ardbeg – something I’m sure our fans will be delighted to get their hands on.”

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Ardbeg Fermutation is available to members of the Ardbeg Committee from 1 February (RRP £150). You can find out more about the Committee at

24 January 2022 –

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