The millennium spirit

On the dawn of the year 2000, the millennium bug threatened the world's data, causing widespread panic. We looked to take stock. Stored on Ardbeg's system of ledgers, floppies, and antiquated servers were records for every last barrel on site. 

It was inevitable something, somewhere was going to get overlooked.

And sure enough, a handful of casks were inexplicably sent to a distant warehouse.

Ardbeg Vintage_Y2K is an ultra-rare whisky matured in obscurity for 23 years until it was finally recovered. This limited edition is the first release of this millennium spirit. 

"Whisky can slip through the net from time to time, but never quite like this"

Dr Bill Lumsden


Ardbeg The Rollercoaster

While the year 2000 will be remembered by many for bootcut jeans, flip phones and the elusive millennium bug, it went down in Ardbeg history for very different reasons. 

Following decades of neglect, the Distillery had been saved from extinction by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 and meticulously restored. As the clock ticked over from 1999 to 2000, Ardbeg was returning to full production. And while the rest of the world partied, with many distilleries shut down in fear of computerised chaos, its dedicated stillmen stayed up all night to keep the spirit flowing.  

Crafted with some of the very first spirit of the millennium, the inaugural edition in the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K series is unlike anything that came before. It was distilled in the historic still which served Ardbeg for 51 years, before being retired in 2001. And with an increased rigour applied to cask selection under the new ownership, the whisky was laid down in some of the finest bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks around. 

Committee Chair and Distillery Visitor Centre Manager Jackie Thomson said: “The turn of the millennium was a milestone for Ardbeg in so many ways – not least the formation of our Committee, the lifeblood of Ardbeg. With Y2K fashion and culture now back with a vengeance, we’re inviting Ardbeggians to turn back time to a remarkable year and enjoy the spirit of Ardbeg Vintage_Y2K.

Ardbeg Vintage_Y2K will soon be available to buy from your nearest Ardbeg Embassy and whisky specialist.


A smoky anomaly


Pale Amber


Herbal, sweet and fragrant, with a subtle, distant perfumed smokiness. Next a quirky, zesty note like lemon balsam emerges, along with a suggestion of linseed oil and candied walnuts. A splash of water and the fragrance intensifies, emitting heather honey, a touch of creosote and the tiniest trace of tent canvas.


The texture is fizzy and effervescing (sherbety), with a real, vibrant effervescence on the tongue. At first the flavour is intensely sweet, then shifts as aniseed, toffee, digestive biscuits, peppermint, menthol, tar and coffee grits burst through.


The sooty/tarry flavours keep building, until they finally dissolve into a long, lingering aftertaste of antiseptic lozenges, bitter oranges and oak tannins.


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