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Ardbeg experiments with Sauternes casks to create a new 13-year-old whisky

Distillery launches The Harpy’s Tale, a smoky-sweet ‘hybrid’, as the first release in its new Anthology Collection of unusual maturation styles

Islay distillery and smoky malt, Ardbeg has unveiled the first experimental and rare release in its new Anthology Collection – Ardbeg Anthology: The Harpy’s Tale.

Aged for 13 years in a combination of classic ex-bourbon and sweet Sauternes wine casks, this whisky presents a completely unique Ardbeg, characterised by a tussle between powerful smoke and rich sweetness. In homage to this unusual ‘hybrid’ style, its packaging takes inspiration from the fabled half-human and half-bird Harpy – an elusive, winged beast from ancient mythology.

Ardbeg The Harpy’s Tale is the inaugural whisky in the distillery’s new Anthology Collection: a range of experimental single malts that will present rare and exceptional Ardbegs, each matured in cask types that are completely new to the distillery.

Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, said: "We have embarked on a bold maturation experiment to fuse Ardbeg’s signature smokiness with more nuanced, sweeter notes for our new release The Harpy’s Tale – resulting in a very unusual and complex breed of Ardbeg. This is a dram that represents a battle between sweet and smoke – one I believe fans are yet to experience in an Ardbeg dram, and one that I’m sure they will be excited to taste for themselves.

“Collectively, the whiskies in the Anthology Collection will form a legendary, perfectly balanced, and delicious series of rare and unusual Ardbegs, rich in both lore and taste. We look forward to revealing more in the Collection in the near future.”

Priced at £141 with an ABV of 46%, Ardbeg Anthology: The Harpy's Tale will be available for purchase on, in Ardbeg Embassies, at the Distillery Visitor Centre on Islay, and in selected whisky specialists.

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