June the 5th marked this year’s annual Ardbeg Day celebration and with Covid still fairly rampant across the globe, the festivities were once again broadcast online. TWR teamed up with RGBC to host an intimate event at our Wynberg warehouse, treating 20 guests to a guided tasting of six exceptional Ardbeg expressions, including the latest: SCORCH.
The evening began with a lively online exchange between two Ardbeg elites: Distillery Manager, Sir Colin Gordon (dressed in a full suit of armour), and Global Ambassador, David Blackmore (fresh off a Game of Thrones set in his Dire wolf coat). The two Scots kept us wildly entertained. Aside from their indecipherable banter and increasingly pink complexions, Sir Colin’s virtual tour of the new Stillhouse and valiant efforts to move in his costume were a true highlight.
In the build-up to the main event, guests were treated to canapés and delectably brazen penicillin cocktails, laced with Glenmorangie 10yo. It’s safe to say that young mixologist, Alex Dedekind, is a fiend behind the bar. TWR co-owner, Sean Gunns, then led an Ardbeg Q&A as we made our way through the five initial expressions provided by RGBC. These included Corryvreckan, Wee Beastie, Ardbeg Ten, Uigeadail and An Oa but it was the new release, SCORCH, that had our mouths watering in anticipation.
At last the whisky wizard himself, Dr. Bill Lumsden, materialised through the projector and adorned the warehouse wall in all his omnipotent glory. The real fun had begun! Accompanied by fellow whisky creator Gillian MacDonald, we were finally introduced to Dr. Bill’s “fire breathing beast of a dram,” SCORCH. It did not disappoint. Matured in fiercely charred ex-Bourbon American oak casks with an ABV of 46%, it packed a peaty punch, balanced beautifully with hints of salty liquorice and caramelised sugar.
The evening ended in suitably high spirits and we were thrilled to have hosted true Ardbeg fans who would, under normal circumstances, have made the annual migration to the Ardbeg Embassy in the Dullstroom.
“It was a cold and miserable Saturday on June the 5th at Wild About Whisky in Dullstroom,” reflected owner Dave Gunns. “As an Ardbeg Embassy, the prospect of another pandemic-cancelled Ardbeg Day celebration was particularly bleak… but luckily, by collaborating with The Whisky Rebellion on a separate project, we were able to provide 60 devout Ardbeggians with tasting samples (Kelpie, Grooves, Drum, Wee Beastie, Uigeadail and Scorch) coupled with an online guided tasting.”
The TWR and Wild About Whisky sample kit was a hit, as one delighted customer said, "I was absolutely blown away by the whiskies as well as the knowledge, professionalism and sincerity with which Dave presented the tasting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience from start to finish!”
Despite successfully bringing a small essence of Islay to our fellow Ardbeg enthusiasts in 2021, we long to once again warm up the bagpipes, join arms for the parade, toss a sheep and clink glasses in traditional Ardbeg Day revelry. Here’s looking at you 2022, we cannot wait to see what sorcery Dr. Bill will serve up for us next. Sláinte!
Many thanks to Rob Gray (RGBC), 180 Degrees Catering, Silver Spoon Function Hire, and the Wild About Whisky team.
All gallery photos by Stephen Segal
Father’s Day 2021 falls on Sunday, June 20th which means it’s time to start thinking about the father (or father figure) in your life and how you can pay homage to your legendary Dad. Let’s be clear, just the whiff of soap-on-a-rope or another pair of socks will likely send him scuttling to his man-cave for a 2020-level sulk. So, to avoid any unnecessary drama, we’ve made shopping for the perfect gift as easy as 1, 2, 3… 4, 5!
Here are our top 5 picks for Father’s Day gifts and the best part: they can all be ordered online and shipped to him, right on time for the special occasion.
A shameless punt for our own product? What can we say, it’s an exciting new idea that we're very proud of and it really makes a great Father's Day gift! The TWR BOX brings our years of experience in procuring and presenting fine spirits straight into your home. Inside each BOX is not only everything you need for an in-depth whiskey tasting experience, but also a link to a virtual presentation to guide you through the whiskey tasting. Packed with anecdotes, facts, opinions, and special tips, our presentation will be sure to change the way you experience these products.
The well-known whisky bar, a true landmark in the bustling little village of Dullstroom, boasts a bar and retail outlet with the largest whisky menu in the southern hemisphere. The retail store is jam-packed with an array of whisky, gin, tequila, brandy and cognac bottles for sale and their prices are hard to beat. A Father's Day gift voucher allows the lucky recipient to enjoy a fantastic whiskey tasting experience of their chosen spirit or to purchase a bottle of their favourite dram.
EDGE for Men wants every person to walk out of their salon feeling relaxed and confident. For men, EDGE turns the average ‘grudge’ haircut into a regularly anticipated visit; where their gents can expect a minty fresh head massage, refreshment of espresso coffee, juice, or beer as well as a look they were hoping for. They really are the best in the business!
Celestial Gift Experiences is an innovation that brings novelty to a world where people already own all the gadgets. Instead of buying another watch, another tie or another fragrance set, you now have the opportunity to buy gift experiences. Contact their ‘Bucket List Genie’ to arrange an out-of-this-world experience for your loved one!
These glasses rock. Literally. The cleverly designed tapered base keeps them swirling, gently moving the liquid inside and exposing it to oxygen, making it taste better (without ever spilling a drop). Great for whiskey or cognac, they'll be the perfect companion on a cold night, making them the perfect Father's Day gift.
Tags: fathers day; father’s day; dad; gift; whisky; whiskey; tasting; experience