The Whisky Tasting Club

Music for Ardbeg

This week the Islay Festival took place and each day a different distillery had its special day.
For this year’s Ardbeg day the great Jackie Thomson asked me to match a range of Ardbegs with a classic rock song, a more unusual rock song and an Americana folk/country track. Then she played the music in a disco environment complete with mirror balls and sofas. Here are my selections. What would you choose?


Characteristics - Champagne spirit, bubbly, fresh, new, young, celebratory, positive

1. Dance – The Brilliant Things
2. Bubbles – Biffy Clyro (perfect as they’re Scottish)
3. Fire Away – Dawes



Characteristics - Classic big Ardbeg and a feisty bad boy but at its sweetest and on its best behaviour. So classical rock with potentially dark and dangerous undertones



1. Sweet Child O Mine – Guns N Roses
2. Lonely Boy – Black Keys
3. Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams


Characteristics – An outstanding Ardbeg, rich full, powerful, complex, bold, luxurious, indulgent. Close your eyes and submerge yourself… so indulgent and hedonistic


1. Save Me – Black Country Communion
2. Weep Themselves To Sleep – Jack White
3. Country Feedback – REM



Characteristics: Big bold bourbon barbecue, husky, smoky, charcoal, wizened, smouldering…
1. Ace of Spades – Motorhead
2. Things My Father Said – Black Stone Cherry
3. Hemingway’s Whiskey – Kris Kristofferson



Characteristics: Big, powerful, classic, rich, contrasts, clashes
1. In The Evening – Led Zeppelin
2. Mistreated – Deep Purple
3. Desperadoes Waiting for A Train – Willie Nelson




Characteristics: Upbeat, sweet, big flavours, pure, vibrant, complex, celebratory
1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd
2. Dream On – Noel Gallagher’s Big Birds
3. The Wonder of You – Elvis Presley

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