Saturday 29 April 2017

This week in whisk(e)y #36 - Ardbeg toasts beloved Manager, Glenmorangie Pride 1974

As you might know if you read this blog regularly, we get a fair few interesting press releases and news articles here at TimeforWhisky, and usually try to feature them with our own spin, experiences or comments. Sometimes though, they come thick and fast, and we just don't have time to do them all justice.

So we've decided to take a leaf out of some other excellent whisky blogs, and feature a "PR roundup" every now and then - basically a wrap-up of relevant press releases we've received in the previous week or so (including other interesting whisk(e)y news Steph, Hendy & or I think you might enjoy). So on with it then...

Glenmorangie Pride 1974
Following the release of the Glenmorangie Pride 1978 in 2012, Glenmorangie has released another old and rare release, the Glenmorangie Pride 1974. Here's the official press release:
"The most prized Highland single malt whisky ever to emerge from Glenmorangie has become the inspiration for musical virtuoso Aaron Diehl, as part of a creative partnership with renowned piano maker Steinway & Sons.  The launch of Glenmorangie Pride 1974, the Distillery's oldest, rarest and deepest whisky, has led the celebrated Steinway Artist to compose a mesmerising work evoking its rare beauty. 
Glenmorangie Pride 1974 is the third and most prestigious expression in the Distillery's illustrious Pride series, which celebrates its most rare and treasured creations.  Matured for 41 years, just 503 crystal decanters exist of this intense, spicy, yet mellow limited edition.  
The exquisite single malt showcases spirit distilled in Scotland's tallest stills by Glenmorangie's legendary Men of Tain, and laid down on 30 October 1974, some in ex-bourbon refill casks, some in ex-Oloroso sherry casks.  This spirit spent decades maturing under the expert care of these select craftsmen, until Glenmorangie's inspired Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks deemed that it had reached its very peak.  Only then, did Dr Bill Lumsden skilfully marry the two parcels together – realising his vision for Glenmorangie's oldest expression, deeper in colour and character than any other. 
Diehl, a Steinway Artist and graduate of world-renowned Juilliard School, visited the Distillery as part of Glenmorangie's partnership with Steinway & Sons.  His musical evocation of Glenmorangie Pride 1974 reflects their shared dedication to creativity and craftsmanship, established over generations.   
Diehl, 31, who will premiere his work alongside Glenmorangie Pride 1974, said: "In many ways, creating whisky is very similar to composing.  The rare beauty of Glenmorangie Pride 1974 combines years of uncompromising craft and painstaking attention to detail, with a creativity and passion any musician would recognise.  Its story inspired me to create a work echoing the whisky's depth of character, its long maturation and its astonishing tastes." 
Dr Bill said: "Glenmorangie Pride 1974 is the oldest and deepest Glenmorangie ever to be released.  Its age lends the whisky an enriched intensity, borne only of long maturation.  The result is an exquisite blend of salty, spicy aromas, leading to tastes of toffee, baked apples, oranges and brown sugar.  Aaron Diehl's inspired composition perfectly captures the spirit of Glenmorangie Pride 1974.  Each of us has created a rare moment of beauty – and at the whisky's premiere, they will be married together in exquisite harmony." 
Only 503 crystal decanters of Glenmorangie Pride 1974 will be released globally in May 2017."
Three cheers to an Ardbeg stalwart
Ardbeg fans were recently asked to raise a dram and raise a toast and give three cheers for Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager and also the Ardbeg Committee Chairman, who is celebrating his tenth anniversary as Distillery Manager.

We've certainly shared a few Ardbeg drams in celebration and lots of Ardbeg fans around the world also toasted and gave three cheers to Mickey, summarised well in this video, including a prominent display of local whisky figure, Andrew Derbridge.

#3cheers for Mickey from us at Time for Whisky, you've certainly transformed Ardbeg over the decade and we look forward to continuing to be part of the Ardbeg journey!!

Here's a bit more from the official PR release:
"It is ten years since Ardbeg's beloved Mickey Heads took charge of the single malt whisky's untamed spirit. To celebrate the acclaimed Distillery Manager's decade at the helm, the world's smokiest, peatiest Islay malt invites fans across the world to pour a dram of Ardbeg and give three cheers for Mickey, with a nose, taste and toast.

In 2007, when Mickey was appointed, Ardbeg was a very different place to the one the cult malt's loyal following knows today. Saved from extinction by The Glenmorangie Company only a decade previously, it would require years of devotion to complete the Distillery's resurgence on its remote Scottish island home. With Islay native Mickey at the forefront however, Ardbeg has gone from strength to strength. Today, it is the world's most highly awarded smoky malt, while Mickey was singled out as Distillery Manager of the Year at respected industry awards in 2014. 

In honour of Mickey's decade of dedication to Ardbeg's enduring spirit, the Distillery calls on smoky malt whisky fans to join in a worldwide three cheers, with a nose, taste and toast of their favourite expression, be it Ardbeg Ten Years Old, Ardbeg Uigeadail or Ardbeg Corryvreckan. Ardbeggians are invited to film and share their cheers with the hashtag #3cheers, to be part of a special anniversary surprise for Mickey which the Distillery is keeping under wraps for now.

Meanwhile on Islay, Mickey is holding some anniversary tastings of his own. In Ardbeg's first official tasting videos, he will nose, taste and toast Ardbeg's three Ultimate whiskies, giving his insight into the expressions that Islay's wilderness has inspired.

Mickey, who also chairs Ardbeg's loyal fan club, the Committee, said: "I've loved every minute of my years at Ardbeg. The Distillery has grown stronger and stronger in the past decade, and today its untamed spirit is enjoyed by Ardbeggians around the globe. Here on Islay, I'll be raising a glass of Ardbeg to celebrate how far we've come. I hope Ardbeggians will join me to toast The Ultimate Islay Malt. Sláinte!"
Until next time...

Martin & Hendy. 

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