Ardbeg Islay Releases The Abyss 34-Year Scotch


June 10, 2024

Ardbeg the Abyss close up of bottle final

Ardbeg Islay single malt announced the release of an Ardbeggian icon reborn, in Ardbeg The Abyss. This whisky emerges from the rare heart of a fan favorite – the original, limited-edition Ardbeg Corryvreckan released in 2008.

Transfigured by time, extraordinary new flavors surface in this 34-year-old whisky, which is destined to become a legend in its own right. To bring The Abyss’s mysterious depths to life, acclaimed American comic-book artist Tradd Moore reimagines the legend of the Corryvreckan whirlpool in a fantastical graphic novel. Set on “Planet Ardbeg,” it is available in print exclusively with The Abyss’s 400 numbered bottles.

Deep at the heart of the original Ardbeg Corryvreckan was mature 1989 spirit aged first in bourbon casks, then finished in unique, “ultra-active” French oak casks. These unusual casks, which were heavily toasted to an exact specification, gave that legendary limited-edition its depths.

While most of these unrepeatable casks were consumed in the 2008 limited bottling, a small handful were stowed away. Now, from those last surviving barrels, comes Ardbeg The Abyss – its raw power transformed. Encased in a sleek, silver capsule, which looks set for travel to other realms, this rich and unusually dark Ardbeg draws drinkers deep into swirls of toasted marshmallows and tea leaves, while notes of dark chocolate, pecan, leather and creosote circle nearby. 

To celebrate the revival of a legend in The Abyss, acclaimed comic book author and artist Tradd Moore draws his reader into a parallel world inspired by Ardbeg Corryvreckan’s namesake. The whisky is named after the fathomless whirlpool that lies to the north of Ardbeg’s Scottish island home.

There, the Viking prince Breacan is said to have anchored his ship for three days and nights to win the hand of the Lord of the Isles’ daughter – yet was lost to its watery depths. Emulating the whisky’s journey into new flavor dimensions, Tradd gives new life to Breacan in the pages of his graphic novel. The prince travels through space and time to emerge reborn on Planet Ardbeg. 

“Ardbeg The Abyss is the stuff of Ardbeggian legend. Formed from the rare heart of that original, sought-after 2008 limited release of Corryvreckan, this 34-year-old whisky has been transported by time into a new world of flavor,” Dr. Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Whisky Creation, said. “Held in a tiny handful of those rare, heavily toasted French oak casks, its 400 bottles contain mysterious depths.”

“When I visited Islay, everything felt holistic: the island itself, the people, the stories,” Tradd said in a news release. “From visiting the whirlpool to trying to swirl whisky in the glass, it all felt interconnected. I’m a big fan of mythology and as soon as I heard the legend of Corryvreckan, I just knew I wanted to reflect The Abyss’s mysterious depths through the story of Prince Breacan. On his own journey into mystery, he sees the abyss, enters the unknown and is swept up and surprised by what he find.”

Ardbeg The Abyss will be available to buy via, at the Distillery Visitor Centre on Islay, and through the Moët Hennessy Private Client channel, across the world from June 2024. 

In celebration of the Ardbeg Corryvreckan’s role in the distillery’s liquid history, 1,000 limited edition bottles of core range Ardbeg Corryvreckan are also to be released, featuring a label design by Tradd Moore. Four individual designs will be available, each taken from a frame featured in The Abyss’ graphic novel. These unique bottles will be available exclusively from the Distillery Visitor Centre on Islay from June.  

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