The start of the Islay Festival has a special newcomer this year. Although Ardnahoe has no distillery on Islay yet, they do have a distillery shop and it opened yesterday at 10am. Because planning permission for a temporary shop at Ardnahoe Farm, which is next to the new distillery site, was not granted by A&B Council, they had to find an alternative location. As it so happened Mark Unsworth of Islay Studios moved across the square to a bigger and better equipped location and as a result Ardnahoe Distillery is now occupying the space of the former Islay Studios shop on the square in Bridgend. The shop will stay at this location for a few years until Ardnahoe Distillery have their own visitor centre and shop on site.
To mark the start of the construction of Ardnahoe Distillery, Hunter Laing & Co has unveiled a range of six very rare Islay whiskies. They go under the name Kinship Range and the range comprises of a 34-year-old Sherry cask Port Ellen (£1,800), 33-year-old Sherry cask Caol Ila (£375), 30-year-old Sherry cask Bowmore (£495), 30-year-old Bourbon cask Laphroaig (£720), 28-year-old Sherry cask Bunnahabhain (£310) and a 26-year-old Bourbon cask Ardbeg (£720). A very remarkable range indeed! Continue reading...
Expressions in The Kinship range have a combined age of 181 years and were hand-picked by Jim McEwan, former master distiller of Bruichladdich who was appointed production director at Ardnahoe Distillery. Jim McEwan said: “The whiskies in The Kinship range are a tribute to the brotherhood of Islay distilleries, of which I’ve been fortunate to be a part for most of my life, and now once again with Hunter Laing as we extend the Islay family with the establishment of Ardnahoe.” Jim describes the Port Ellen whisky as being like “a tidal wave in a glass” and called the Bunnahabhain as “without doubt the best Sherry-matured Bunnahabhain I have tasted”.
Stewart Laing, who leads the company with his sons, Scott and Andrew, added: “With the world’s whisky fans looking towards Islay for the festival, and our distillery build getting under way, we wanted to release a truly special collection of whiskies that fitted the occasion. We’re hugely proud to be adding a new chapter to Islay’s whisky story and The Kinship is a fitting tribute to celebrate this exciting time for us and whisky fans all over the world.” The Kinship range is available during Feis Ile from 10am on Friday 26 May at the Ardnahoe shop in Bridgend.
Shop opening in the Square