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Ardbeg launches ‘ARDventurous’ whisky challenge

Ardbeg is taking an ARDventurous approach to marketing its Scotch by inviting consumers to take part in a survival challenge on its remote island home of Islay.

The Ardbeg distillery on Islay

Led by Ardbeg distillery manager Mickey Heads and survival expert Monty Halls, the launch event will see 10 contestants from six different countries will take part in what Ardbeg has dubbed the “world’s most daring whisky challenge”.

Trekking along the island’s rugged coast and tramping through wild peat bogs, a group of select Ardbeg fans, journalists and bloggers will spend three days in the wild learning how the smokiest, peatiest Islay malt whisky is made. 

Starting with an apprenticeship at the distillery, the team will set off into the wild carrying a curious 12kg ration pack containing a bottle of Ardbeg Ten Years Old, a bar of soap, a line of tarry rope, a tin of sardines, iodine, lime, peat, Vicks VapoRub, cheese, smoky bacon, black pepper, chocolate, aniseed, almonds and matches.

First trekking to Ardbeg’s water source, Loch Uigeadail, the team will then spend a day cutting the peat which lends Ardbeg its smoky character. Finally, they will row a cask of whisky along Islay’s rugged coast, following in the footsteps of the island’s earliest distillers who transported their cargo by sea.

Along the way the group will visit Ardbeggian locations on Islay, including the 8th century Kildalton cross – a symbol of Islay’s Celtic heritage.

Each day, contestants will be ranked for “Ardbeggian” qualities such as survival spirit, endurance and resourcefulness, with one emerging to become the ultimate “ARDventurer”.

“It’ll be fascinating to see how each ARDventurer will react to the wild untamed nature of Islay”, said Mickey Heads, Ardbeg distillery manager. “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.”

This first event will launch the challenge, and will see select Ardbeg fans, journalists and bloggers take part. From 9 September, consumers will be able to book their own ARDventurer experience.

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