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News

Stage is set for the world's most daring whisky challenge

5 September 2016

#ARDventurer #Ardbeg #untamed #lslay
Ten contenders rally for Ardbeg’s island odyssey

Ten contestants from six different countries today converged on Ardbeg’s remote Scottish island home, to compete in the world’s most daring whisky challenge. The Ultimate Ardbeg ARDventurer challenge brings to life the single malt’s untamed spirit, by taking the ten contestants on a unique odyssey into essential Islay. There, the competitors will learn first hand how the island’s rugged coasts, wild peat bogs, mist-capped hills and brooding lochs have inspired the world’s smokiest, peatiest Islay malt whisky for more than 200 years.

The ten, who include Ardbeg fans, journalists, commentators and bloggers from Canada, Germany, Japan, the UK, US and Sweden will face a series of intrepid challenges as they vie to become the Ultimate Ardbeg ARDventurer. Armed only with essentials and a rather unusual ration pack, the ARDventurers will be immersed in the rain-soaked, windswept homeland of Ardbeg for three days…until a winner emerges.

This morning, they landed at Islay’s tiny airport and were taken to the Ardbeg Distillery, where challenge leaders, Distillery Manager Mickey Heads and survival expert Monty Halls gave them an induction into Islay’s untamed ways. The ARDventurers were also given their intriguing ration packs, which include items inspired by the tastes and aromas of Ardbeg, such as bacon, soap, limes, tarry rope, sardines, matches, menthol, and of course, a dram or two of award-winning Ardbeg Ten Years Old. It remains to be seen how the contents will be put to best use.

The Ultimate Ardbeg ARDventurer Challenge begins in earnest on Tuesday 6 September with an apprenticeship at the Distillery and an arduous trek to Ardbeg’s water source Loch Uigeadail, where the group must camp for the night. Contestants will spend a day cutting the peat which lends The Ultimate Islay Malt its uniquely smoky character, and after camping overnight again, will row a cask of Ardbeg along Islay’s perilous coast, following in the wake of the earliest distillers, who transported whisky by sea. Each day, they will be ranked by a panel of judges led by Heads and Halls, for Ardbeggian qualities such as survival spirit, endurance and resourcefulness.

Mickey Heads said: “It’ll be fascinating to see how each ARDventurer will react to the wild untamed nature of Islay. We’ll be watching for the contestant who best embodies Ardbeg’s qualities throughout the challenge. Only they will be named the Ultimate Ardbeg ARDventurer.”

Ardbeg Distillery