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Advent Calendar 2023: Day 22

The other smoky favorite from the Isle of Islay is Ardbeg. The current direction of the distillery may not please more serious whisky enthusiasts, but the lighter approach to whiskies and Shorty's adventures certainly bring a smile to my face.

Ardbeg was founded in 1815, but let's focus on more recent events today. As many whisky enthusiasts know, the whiskies released by the distillery after the turn of the millennium enjoy almost cult status among whisky lovers. The distillery was closed for a large part of the 80s, and from 1989 to 1996, it operated only two months a year. The owner at that time also owned the Laphroaig distillery and used it as the main producer of peaty whisky, leaving Ardbeg in the background. The distillery was allowed to deteriorate, and its equipment was used as needed, for example, as spare parts at the Laphroaig distillery. Finally, in 1996, the distillery was closed and put up for sale. There was also consideration of demolishing the entire abandoned distillery, which now seems completely incomprehensible in retrospect. Glenmorangie acquired Ardbeg for £7 million and immediately released a 17-year-old and Ardbeg Provenance.

In the early 2000s, Lord of the Isles, the current 10-year-old, and Uigeadail were released, to name a few. The early 10-year-olds and Uigeadail contained much more aged whiskies and are highly valuable today as they offer something completely different than the current versions. The whisky to be enjoyed today was released in honor of Ardbeg's 200th anniversary. Perpetuum is bottled at 47.4% strength and without an age statement.

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