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Ardbeg’s launches sci-fi anthology to explore ‘out of this world’ whisky tales

Islay distillery Ardbeg is launching a limited edition 40-page sci-fi anthology inspired by three of its single malt expressions –  Ardbeg Ten Years Old, Ardbeg An Oa, and Ardbeg Wee Beastie – its first foray into graphic novels. 

Planet Ardbeg, new dimensions in flavour, has been created by three graphic artists, award-winning New York cartoonist Ronald Wimberly (who acted as creative director), Emma Ríos and Sanford Greene. The trio have devised three fantastical tales that celebrate the flavours of each of the three Ardbeg expressions and feature cameos from some of the Islay distillery’s best-known characters.

The first tale, Guardians of Oa by Sanford Greene, draws its influence from the rounded balance and smoky power of Ardbeg An Oa in an action-packed epic about a copper city coming under attack from a monstrous creature. Ronald Wimberley’s The Best Laid Schemes channels “the feisty and formidable flavours of Ardbeg Wee Beastie” in a “fast-paced neo-western featuring giant botanicals and even bigger beasts”, the distillery said. The final tale, Take it with a Grain of Sand, by Emma Ríos,” captures the complex peaty essence of Ardbeg Ten Years Old, and tells of a mystical quest through a land lost to time”.

Wimberly said that while planning the graphic novel, he thought about Ardbeg as a time machine. “Time is important with whisky, and with Ardbeg An Oa, Ardbeg Wee Beastie and Ardbeg Ten Years Old what you’re talking about is three different time experiences,” he explained.

Ardbeg’s distillery manager Colin Gordon added that it was “amazing to see the different smoky characteristics of these whiskies brought to life in graphic novel form”.

“Each story in Planet Ardbeg is brimming with imagination and creativity. It’s a must-read for Ardbeg fans everywhere,” he said.

The novel will be available to buy at the Ardbeg Distillery Visitor Centre and selected comic book shops, as well as online in certain markets. A digital version will also be available exclusively for the 160,000 worldwide members of the Ardbeg Committee.

The launch is being backed by a full UK-wide marketing campaign during October 2022.

Ardbeg distillery is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, having been bought by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997.

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