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Ardbeg’s New Peated Single Malt Scotch Pairs Perfectly with Barbecued Meats

Ardbeg BizarreBQ Whisky 0 Hero
Photo: Ardbeg

Nearly every whisky drinker has his own personal favorite bottle for pairing with his barbecue food. For some, smoked brisket belongs with a neat pour of Laphroaig, while others prefer their ribs with a glass of Wild Turkey. And while smoky whiskies are popular now more than ever, the perfect barbecue and liquor combo never really existed — until now. Scotch staple Ardbeg, in partnership with author and grill expert DJ BBQ, has unveiled the long-awaited BizarreBQ single malt, which was made to channel and complement your smoked meats.

On an international level, Ardbeg isn’t quite as well known as the likes of its Islay brethren Laphroaig and Lagavulin. However, in Scotland itself, the 200-plus-year-old coastal distillery is an absolute legend, with a passionate cult following in tow. If you’re a peated whisky fan, you’ll find anything that suits your tastebuds amongst Ardbeg’s repertoire of a dozen or so single malts, ranging from the flagship 10 Year or the smoke stack that is Wee Beastie (our personal favorite is Uigeadail). However, what separates Ardbeg from the pack is its willingness to innovate and its dynamic flavor profiles. Compared to the competition, the smoky whiskies from Ardbeg are distinctly sweeter (the brand calls this the “peaty paradox”).

Good barbecue isn’t just smoky but tangy as well, and BizarreBQ executes that palate perfectly with curious notes of flame-grilled steak, chili oil, leather, clove, ginger, aniseed, and even grilled artichoke. To get the job done, Master Distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden aged the liquid in a combination of three vessels: double-charred oak barrels, ​Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, and Ardbeg’s own special BBQ casks, which have been extra-charred on top of an old-fashioned brazier. At 50.9% ABV, this new limited-edition expression can compete on your tongue with even the most dominant meat flavors.

Ardbeg BizarreBQ is coming to online retailers in June at a suggested retail price is £75 (~$93).