Thomas Moradpour and Dr Bill Lumsden with Cask 3
Thomas Moradpour and Dr Bill Lumsden
Schenelle Dsouza
This is a story to be enjoyed while you pour yourself a nice glass of the golden liquid. An anonymous whisky enthusiast from Asia just spent a whopping USD 19 million for an entire cask of 1975 Ardbeg Scotch whisky.
A one-of-a-kind 1975 cask of Ardbeg Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky, “Cask No. 3” is the company’s oldest whisky crafted by master distiller Bill Lumsden himself. Cask No. 3 is believed to be incomparably precious since single malts weren’t created at the distillery in the 1970s and it was closed through much of the ’80s and ’90s.
Ardbeg Cask 3
Photo Courtesy: Ardbeg
A piece of history
A remarkable piece of liquid history, Cask No. 3 will be bottled over the course of five years for its owner, giving her an unparalleled vertical collection of aged Ardbegs, which according to Ardbeg, cannot be replicated for at least a decade.  
Commenting on the sale, Thomas Moradpour, CEO, The Glenmorangie Company said, “This sale is a source of pride for everyone in the Ardbeg community who has made our journey possible. Just 25 years ago, Ardbeg was on the brink of extinction, but today it is one of the most sought-after whiskies in the world.” 
Cask No. 3’s private sale is truly an extraordinary milestone in Ardbeg’s 200-year history. The distillery faced major hardships and was closed through most of the ’70s, with its future hanging in the balance. Although Ardbeg did re-open for a while, it was forced to shut again in 1996, with many believing this to be permanent. The sale of Cask No. 3 is worthy of celebration, and so Ardbeg pledged to donate £1 million to causes on Islay, to celebrate the company’s breakthrough and the hard work behind the rare Cask No. 3 whisky.  
Ardbeg Cask 3
Thomas Moradpour CEO, The Glenmorangie Company
“While such a rare whisky is out of reach for all but one of our fans, we put the same passion and care into every bottle of Ardbeg as went into this exclusive single malt in 1975 – from flagship Ardbeg Ten Years Old, to limited-edition releases, Moradpour adds.  “Today, our new stillhouse is working at full capacity to make more Ardbeg available than ever, and whisky creator Dr Bill Lumsden is busy imagining many more surprising smoky releases for Ardbeg fans.”  
Cask No. 3
Created in a bygone era, the smoky–balanced spirit of cask No. 3 was distilled on November 25, 1975. After distilling, the whisky was then left to age in two separate casks – a bourbon cask and an Oloroso sherry cask. These were patiently matured by Ardbeg’s skilled warehouse workers over the next 38 years.
Much later in 2014, Ardbeg’s acclaimed Director of Whisky Creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, decided to marry the two casks to create an even more extraordinary single malt. And so, on March 31, 2014, Lumsden transferred the whisky into a single refill Oloroso butt, selected to give only the subtlest of wood influence. Today, more than 46 years later, this single malt is a smorgasbord of sherried, smoky aromas and rich, elegant tastes.
Cask No. 3 will be left to mature in a secure location on Islay, Scotland over the next five years. The owner of the cask will receive a total of 88 bottles from the cask every year for the next four years. And, so, by 2026, this Ardbeg enthusiast will possess a unique vertical series of rare Ardbegs from 1975, aged 46, 47, 48, 49 and 50 years old, each bottle worth approximately USD 44,000 each.
Thomas Moradpour and Dr Bill Lumsden with Cask 3

Thomas Moradpour and Dr Bill Lumsden

Dr BillLumsden, Director of Whisky Creation, who will oversee the cask’s ongoing maturation said, Cask No. 3 is an extraordinary taste of Ardbeg’s past. Its aromas are nutty, herbal and smoky, while its tastes of tar, espresso coffee and spearmint have an astonishing finesse for a whisky of such age. So little stock survives from this era, that this cask really is one of a kind. And its complex flavours are testament to the extraordinary skill of the Ardbeg team who have cared for it over the decades. I look forward to exploring how it continues to evolve over the next five years.”  
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