Press Release - Ardbeg Whisky, make it snappy!

Ardbeg lets loose its annual limited edition…..

Ardbeg Alligator


Ardbeg is pleased to announce the launch of Ardbeg Alligator - its annual limited edition that will be ‘released’ to the market on 1st September.


However, a small quantity is being pre-released to its fans in the Ardbeg Committee on 1st June to test their reaction to the Distillery’s latest bottling..


A series of tastings and events will also take place for the Committee throughout the summer at Ardbeg Embassies - whisky specialist shops identified by the distillery as ardent fans of the Ardbeg Distillery, giving them ‘first bite’ of what many are already calling the “Islay-gator”!


Ardbeg Alligator is the latest result of years of experimentation by the Distillery and its team, headed up by Dr Bill Lumsden of the Glenmorangie Company, head of Distilling and Whisky Creation at the Edinburgh based firm; Glenmorangie, of course, bought and restored Ardbeg back in 1997.   


Alligator Charring is a well known term used in the Bourbon and Scotch whisky industries to describe the method of charring (or burning) the inside of the oak casks before they are filled with spirit. The burnt wood staves take on the appearance of an alligator’s scales, hence the name. 


The use of these casks is relatively rare as most casks are much less heavily charred, so this latest introduction from Ardbeg is sure to rouse the curiosity of malt whisky aficionados.


Dr Bill commented: “Since we bought and restored the Ardbeg Distillery we have undertaken lots of experiments, laying down spirit in different types of casks. This began back in the late 1990s and Alligator is the happy outcome of one experiment that we are really pleased with.”


He continued: “The heart of Alligator is spirit matured in Level 4 casks - the most intense type of charring you can achieve. 


The key for us then was to marry the intense smoky bacon and charcoal taste of the whisky from these heavily charred casks with the equally intense smoky peaty flavours of hallmark Ardbeg and get the right taste. We achieved this by balancing out the intensity of the charring by marrying this with some Ardbeg matured in 1st fill ex-bourbon casks. These add a creamy vanilla sweetness to the taste.


“The result is a spectacular spectrum of smoky, charcoal, barbecue flavours which beautifully enhance the complex peaty and distinctively herbal characteristics of the hallmark Ardbeg house-style. Let’s see what the Ardbeg Committee think…as they chew it over!”         


Ardbeg Alligator has been bottled at 51.2% ABV and as with all Ardbegs is non chill-filtered for extra texture and mouthfeel. 


On the launch Hamish Torrie, Ardbeg Brand Director explained: “Ardbeg Alligator is released ‘For Discussion’ to the Committee in June with the market release being rolled out to Ardbeg customers in the UK, US, European and selected Asia markets in September.


“The Committee bottling is just a few thousand bottles to get the discussion going and we hope that as many members as possible will attend tastings ahead of the general release if they miss out on a bottle now”.


“Alligator can be bought online at, but to comply with local country tax laws we must point out there are some restrictions to online availability for EU countries. We will endeavour to get as many members to taste it via our Ardbeg Embassy network during the course of the summer.”


As part of the launch, members can enjoy a fun film “The Islay-gator’s Tale” available at or for download on the Ardbeg app.


The Committee Bottling of Alligator carries an RSP of £55.00 or its equivalent in Euros or USD. Some say it’s a snip at that price!


For more information on Ardbeg visit