Today, Ardbeg, the world-renowned Islay Distillery, announced that its first ever beer – The Shortie Smoky Porter – will soon be available to fans in the UK. Named after Ardbeg’s beloved canine mascot (Shortie the Jack Russell), all profits from this limited edition will go to support clean water projects in partnership with craft beer social enterprise Brewgooder.
The Shortie Smoky Porter is the brain-child of flatmates Alan McIntyre, Global Senior Brand Manager at Ardbeg, and Alan Mahon, Founder of Brewgooder. Originally scheduled for release to support World Water Day (22 March 2020), the development and launch was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The much-anticipated beer will now be available from 13th August on Ardbeg.com and selected retailers, with all profits to be donated to clean water projects in Malawi.
To produce this one-off beer – which will be available exclusively in the UK for a limited time only - Ardbeg joined forces with Williams Bros. Brewing Co. The Shortie Smoky Porter was made using the same peated malt as the award-winning Ardbeg Ten Years Old whisky, capturing the Distillery’s signature smoky character with notes of bitter dark chocolate, malty biscuit, dry espresso coffee and a hint of liquorice.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks commented: “We all dig Ardbeg, and no more so than Shortie. So for this life-saving, well-digging clean water brew, it was only fitting that our canine mascot should represent Islay. As with most porters, this beer is smooth and creamy. However our malt has helped make it distinctly smoky - the way we imagine an Ardbeg beer is meant to taste!”
ABV: 6.2% Colour: Dark peat bog brown
Nose: On the nose, Ardbeg’s distinctive peat gives rise to more oily notes intermingled with sour cherries, rich coal tar and pine. Ardbeg’s malt then begins to reveal itself, with aromas of toasted nuts and sweet lemon and lime.
Taste: On the palate, this smoky porter boasts a typically creamy texture, with bitter dark chocolate, malty biscuit, dry espresso coffee and a hint of liquorice.
Finish: In a finish that lingers long beyond the can, delicious and distinctively smoky notes guide the palate towards the bitter end.
Mickey Heads, Ardbeg Distillery Manager, said: “Not only is this a hugely important cause – that we’re delighted to be a part of – but The Shortie Smoky Porter is of course a first for the Distillery. Helping brew a beer may seem like unchartered territory for Ardbeg, but as any whiskyphile worth their malt will tell you, beer and whisky share the same DNA. Just like brewers, we ferment our malt. The only difference being, we hold on to the hops. We hope that Ardbeggians and craft beer lovers alike will enjoy this extra special limited edition.”
The Ardbeg Shortie Smoky Porter was originally conceived as part of Scottish craft beer brand Brewgooder’s Global Gathering campaign. Brewgooder attracted more than 240 brewers from around the world this collaborative brewing project on a mission to provide clean water for 100,000 people in developing countries. Ardbeg was the only spirits brand to take part. The campaign partnered with hundreds of breweries in the UK and around the world to brew unique, small-batch beers. To find out more visit www.brewgooder.com/gathering
Alan Mahon, founder of Brewgooder, commented: "This collaboration is particularly special for me. To create an incredible beer that helps empower people's lives is one thing, to do it with one of the world's best whisky brands is another, but to bring it to life with my best friend: there are few things I have been prouder of in my life. I look forward to working with the team at Ardbeg to turn the profits from this beer into life-saving clean water wells for those who need them."
The Shortie Smoky Porter will be available to purchase exclusively in the UK from Ardbeg.com, and from selected retailers, from 13th August – priced at £14 for a four-pack
Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky. Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts. Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’. During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction. Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.