Ardbeg is celebrating their 200th anniversary with a special Feis Ile bottling known as Perpetuum.
There are actually two versions of the Perpetuum: the distillery release and the general release (embassy release).
Distillery Release Information:
The distillery release is easily recognizable with the bright red stamp across the front label as shown in the picture above. It also does not come with a box. In terms of the liquid inside, the spirit is at an ABV of 49.2% (different from the general release).
The Distillery Release as the name implies is/was only available at the Ardbeg Distillery. The retail was set at £70. Sales begain some time in March of this year (2015). However, it was sold online for Committee Members only on May 4th. Shipping was restricted to the UK further reducing it’s availability. Also the servers were not able to handle the traffic on May 4th leading to some difficult ordering and disgruntled customers. Rumours have it that there are only 12,000 bottles of the Distillery Release.
General Release Information:
The general release comes in a spiffy box and has slightly different designs for the labels and top than the distillery release. See image below for general release. The retail for the general release is set at £84.95. It has an ABV of 47.4% (lower than the distillery release). I am not sure if this means that it is from a different vatting of casks or if a single vatting was diluted to the two different bottling strengths.
The general release will officially be available on Ardbeg Day (May 30th) at Ardbeg Embassies. However, there have been reports of early sales in the US and some Scandinavian countries. If you are in Edinburgh, you can get yours from Royal Mile Whiskies on Ardbeg Day. It is for sale in store only and they will not be taking reservations. Again rumours have it that 65,000 bottles of the general release have been produced.
There was some confusion about the differences and dsitributuion of the distillery release due to the LCBO in Canada posting the Perpetuum on their site as the 49.2% version (as of 2015/5/29) for $186.95 (CAD). However, I suspect this might be a mistake and they have now updated with a photo of the general release. So if you are in Ontario, Canada, I’m sorry to tell you that you will not be getting the Distillery Release.
If you are an Ardbeg committee member you can now pre-order (with free shipping to the UK) the Perpetuum from the Ardbeg website. I am not sure how long they will make it available for pre-order. Quite likely this option will be removed after Ardbeg Day.
I’ll update this post as more information surfaces.