Ardbeg has rolled out its first ever travel retail exclusive series of whiskies – Ardbeg Smoketrails – to airports around the world, boosted by a disruptive pop-up at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5.
The activation, which launched on 5 October and is running until 30 November, has been brought to life by Moët Hennessy in partnership with Dufry and Heathrow Airport.
It shines a light on the first release in the new series – Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition – which has a distinctive maritime character combined with a ‘powerful blast’ of signature Ardbeg smoke.
At the pop-up, travellers can join Shortie (the distillery mascot) on a ‘high-flying, interactive experience across the globe’, stopping in Spain to discover the influence of Manzanilla casks on the expression.
“For each Smoketrails release, we’ll pack our suitcase and zig zag across the globe in search of new flavour adventures – in this case, to the Spanish coast for the finest Manzanilla casks,” said Colin Gordon, Ardbeg Distillery Manager.
“With a unique batch code on this and future bottlings, we hope Ardbeggians will jump at the chance to get their hands on this delectable, collectable dram when they are on their travels.”
Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition marries malt matured in classic Ardbeg American oak casks with Manzanilla sherry casks from Sanlúcar de Barrameda on Spain’s Atlantic coast.
“In Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition, salty sea spray and deep, nutty notes mingle with pungent aromas of soot, dark chocolate and Brazil nuts,” commented Ardbeg’s Master Distiller, Dr Bill Lumsden.
“Clouds of pine and fennel fill the senses with notes of saddle soap and aniseed trailing gently behind.
“All I have to say to anybody who lays their hands on a bottle is… get ready for a smoky blast!”
At the Heathrow pop-up, smoky malt fans can sip specially curated cocktails or taste the expression neat.
The pale gold whisky is ideal paired with sea salt chocolate, which echoes its taste profile.
A limited number of collectible bandanas are also available to a ‘lucky few’ travellers.
Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition also launched at Gatwick and Edinburgh airports on 5 October and rolled out globally from 1 November.
“Ardbeg Smoketrails Manzanilla Edition is the first release of a new collection of whiskies exclusive to travel retail, each with a unique cask origin reflecting the travel universe,” said Laurent Boidevezi, President Moët Hennessy Asia Pacific, Travel Retail & Private Sales.
“Limited batches will excite whisky lovers who will most likely buy a bottle to taste and one to collect.”
As well as being available at selected airports around the world, Ardbeg Smoketrails is available at the Ardbeg Distillery in Scotland.
Ardbeg is owned by the Glenmorangie Company, part of Moët Hennessy.