A Cask 88 sourced cask of Ardmore, matured for 10 years in an ex-Laphroaig cask has been bottled and sent to Singapore as a unique release by M&E Drinks and Porcine Partners. They have released a series of bottles which playfully combine Scottish and Singaporean fantastical elements for an audience who are looking for something a little different in their Scotch.
The Parallel World of Legends
The rotten thing about being mortal is that we so rarely get to glimpse the energetic world of wondrous entities who live their fateful lives parallel to our mundane ones. A spiritual encounter now is likely to be a wander over to the drinks cabinet. Perhaps this is a symptom of living in the modern world, though – if we look back in history, we realise that our two worlds weren’t always so separate.
Classical writings reveal that we humans were once party to the doings of beings far stranger than ourselves. In ancient China, we knew to be respectful of the guardian spirits of every mountain, river and glade. The Aztecs were warned about the dangers of intoxicated debauchery by witnessing the antics of 400 inebriated divine rabbits. The ancient Greeks had to endure all kinds of inconveniences every time their pantheon of bickering Olympians tried to prove a point to one another. In Scotland, people had to resort to every trick in the book just to avoid being constantly abducted by faeries.
We rarely find our worlds crossing over these days, which is a pity. The affairs of immortals are fascinating and terrifying in equal measure, their battles breathtaking in their power. With a little luck, though, we can still stumble upon these events. One such battle was witnessed this year by Singapore couple and liquor importers Mitch and Elise, when they purchased a very special cask of Scotch Whisky from us at Cask 88. But by this time, the fight had already been going for over 10 years.
The Battle of the Beasties
The Golden Eagle, spirit protector of the Ardmore Distillery clashed with one of Islay’s most gregarious peat monsters, which had taken residence in a cask of Laphroaig refilled with Ardmore’s spirit at the distillery in November 2008.
Perhaps disoriented by a long trip and the distance from its home on Islay, the peaty entity tried to dominate the calmer and more introspective spirit of Ardmore. Though the initial battle was fierce, over the course of a 10 year struggle the two adversaries have calmed themselves and reached an impasse with neither gaining the upper hand. The tension between them still crackles within the whisky, which honestly tastes pretty wonderful for it.
Now, however, they find themselves transported to a strange new environment; Singapore. The land where Miss Joaqim orchids bloom. Domain of the Merlion.
While Peat monsters are familiar with the wild seas of Western Scotland, and the Eagle of Ardmore knows its way around North Sea thermals, neither of them have experienced anything of the warm and tropical waters of the Strait of Johor. How these Scottish legends will interact with Singapore’s guardian spirit is yet to be seen, and only a few lucky residents of Singapore will get to witness events as they play out.
M&E and Porcine Partners Ardmore 10yo
This independent bottling of Ardmore single malt whisky was matured for 10 years in an oak Hogshead, formerly inhabited by a powerful Laphroaig whisky. Initially sourced by us at Cask 88, this cask was bought by Mitch and Elise of M&E Drinks, in partnership with Porcine Partners – a group of Singapore restaurateurs. With their goal to provide Singapore with interesting and excellent Scottish whiskies, we feel that this cask of unusual Ardmore makes for a perfect showcase of the quirkier side of Scotch.
Indeed, the story of this cask perfectly highlights the partnerships we make at Cask 88, working with our customers to bring their dream whiskies to the world. Mitch and Elise chose the Ardmore cask after consulting with our advisor, Mel. It felt like a cask with a story to tell, and would help to bring a more unusual style of Scotch to the audience in Singapore.
We guided the bottling and the shipping of the whisky (you can’t ship the whisky in the cask – Scotch has to be entirely matured in Scotland), and once the bottles arrived in Singapore, M&E Drinks applied their beautifully designed labels and packaging to the bottles. The design is hectic with motion and details the fight between the Eagle of Ardmore, a peat monster reimagined as a Chinese móguǐ, and the Merlion of Singapore. The Miss Joaqim orchid, the national flower of Singapore, grows unassumingly in the corner. It’s a whisky that looks as exciting as it tastes, and we wish it all success!
This Laphroaig-matured Ardmore is the second release in a planned series of three by M&E Drinks. We have a little inside knowledge on the cask that may form the basis for the third release… and we’re keen to see what a little French folklore might look like on the label.
The Cask 88 Scottish Folklore Series
If you’re in the mood for a bottle of whisky that captures an eclectic piece of folklore, but are not in the neighbourhood of Singapore, then keep an eye out for our own upcoming release in the Scottish Folklore Series of Cask 88 bottles.
We’ve already released two whiskies in this series to the world – a 45 year old Ben Nevis, representing the legend of the frightening faerie hound Cù Sìth, and a 22 year old Arran which represented the legend of the seal-skinned siren, the Selkie. Allow us to take out our tiny golden trumpets for a brief tootle, and say that both whiskies have won a wee scattering of gold awards for both design and flavour.
We’re busily working away on the next release for Scottish Folklore, but to say anymore at this stage would be giving away too much!
[Do you have an idea for a release of whisky to promote your business, or commemorate a special event? At cask 88, we are there for every step, from sourcing a cask, right up to designing the presentation exactly how you imagine it. See what we can do for you.]