Whisky Magazine Issue 66
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Andrew Derbidge pulls up a seat at a very prestigious Ardbeg meal
Imagine you're an Ardbeg fan. Imagine you'd spent years wanting to taste all the rare, highly collectible vintage bottlings but their scarcity and cost put them beyond your reach. Now imagine there was an event where all these ultra-rare bottlings would be set out on the table for you to taste and compare in one sitting. For 23 lucky people in Sydney, this utopian thought became reality at the recent Ultimate Ardbeg Dinner.
The event was organised by Ardbeg enthusiasts Franz Scheurer, Shane Kalloglian, and Graham Wright, with Moet Hennessy also chipping in with admirable zeal and generosity. Scheurer is well known in Australia (and increasingly around the globe) as an expert at matching food to whisky, while Kalloglian, who also recently became the Australian importer for Springbank.
It was a cold and wet Thursday night in Sydney, but once inside Claude's warm and friendly doors, the conditions were quickly forgotten.
After a brief and typically casual welcoming speech by Scheurer, the small crowd chatted happily upstairs whilst circulating around the room to visit four stations where the current Ardbeg range was on offer: The standard 10yo, the Uigedail, and the “Beast”. Courtesy of Moet Hennessy, a plain bottle containing the 1981 “Kildalton” expression was also available, sourced by breaking open 12 Ardbeg “Peat Packs” and raiding the 50ml miniatures inside.
It was a terrific curtain raiser and set the scene nicely for what was to follow: The Ultimate Ardbe...