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Ardbeg Returns From The Abyss With 34-Year-Old Corryvreckan Finished In French Oak Casks

Ardbeg The Abyss

Ardbeg is teaming up with comic-book artist Tradd Moore to launch the limited-edition The Abyss single malt

Back in 2008, Arbeg released a limited-edition version of its Corryvreckan whisky that it finished in French oak casks. The release was a favorite among the Ardbeggian cult, picking up near legendary status for those who were able to get their hands on the precious liquid. Now, the Islay distillery is bringing the single malt back under the name Ardbeg The Abyss, but after the Scotch spent an additional 16 years in those French barrels.

At its heart, Ardbeg The Abyss is a 34-year-old whisky made from 1989 spirit aged first in bourbon casks, then finished in “ultra-active,” heavily toasted French oak barrels. It offers aromas of toasted marshmallows, tea leaves, roasted chestnut, sourdough, lemon balsam, and leather. The palate offers dark chocolate, pecan nut toffee, old leather, clove, ginger and a touch of treacle and creosote. The finish finds Ardbeg’s famed smoke alongside oak tannins, hints of baked apple and aniseed.

The whisky gets its name from the whirlpool that lies to the north of Ardbeg’s Scottish island home, where Viking prince Breacan is said to have anchored his ship for three days and nights to win the hand of the Lord of the Isles’ daughter – yet was lost to its watery depths. To bring the story of the single malt to life, the distillery partnered with comic-book artist Tradd Moore, who reimagines the legend of the Corryvreckan whirlpool in a graphic novel set on ‘Planet Ardbeg’.


Inspired by traditional diving and space suits, the bottle comes in a case inspired by the other worlds of space and sea. A porthole-style window in the front showcases the bottle and the graphic novel’s cover. On one side, a gauge measures the depth of flavors, while on the other side another gauge points to the ABV. The bottle is adorned with the image of a whirlpool and is topped by a silver cap etched with line drawings by Tradd.

“Ardbeg The Abyss is the stuff of Ardbeggian legend,” says Dr. Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Whisky Creation. “Formed from the rare heart of that original, sought-after 2008 limited release of Corryvreckan, this 34-year-old whisky has been transported by time into a new world of flavor.”

Tradd adds: “When I visited Islay, everything felt holistic: the island itself, the people, the stories. From visiting the whirlpool to trying to swirl whisky in the glass, it all felt interconnected. I’m a big fan of mythology and as soon as I heard the legend of Corryvreckan, I just knew I wanted to reflect The Abyss’s mysterious depths through the story of Prince Breacan. On his own journey into mystery, he sees the abyss, enters the unknown and is swept up and surprised by what he finds…”

Just 400 bottles of Ardbeg The Abyss will be made available and are priced $27,500 each. They can be purchased via Ardbeg.com, at the Distillery Visitor Centre on Islay, and through the Moët Hennessy Private Client channel. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.

Last month, Ardbeg unveiled a new series of highly limited-edition vintage whiskies with the launch of Vintage Y2K, as well as their annual Feis Ile release, Ardbeg Spectacular