The North Highland Initiative, alongside Ardbeg Distillery, is leading a project to raise funds for a new community hub in Islay - by  selling an exclusive limited edition whisky.

Working with community charity South Islay Development, Ardbeg Distillery has created Ardbeg Kildalton - a whisky with top notes of pine resin and coriander (amongst others), and menthol, bitter almond and more flavours besides to finish.

Loading article content

The whisky takes its name from the nearby Kildalton Cross which at 1200 years old stands six miles along the coast from the distillery. Kildalton and Oa is also the name of the ancient parish that includes the distillery and Port Ellen.

And, what's more, early sales have shown that Ardbeg Kildalton is proving quite the success story - with a recent vistor from South Korea buying 18 cases.

With more than annual 20,000 visitors and a passionate following in the Ardbeg Committee, the distillery plans to involve as many people as possible in the fundraising effort for the Kildalton Project. 

Tom Campbell, CEO of The North Highland Initiative, will head the project team working closely with the South Islay Development board. Funds raised from the launch of Ardbeg Kildalton will contribute to the project's development. The Kildalton Project Team will also begin a fundraising campaign to attract other supporters. 

David Whiteford, Chair of The North Highland Initiative said: "We are delighted to have The Glenmorangie Company as a new partner and it is exciting to be involved here on Islay as it extends the original scope of the North Highland Initiative and the vision of His Royal Highness in promoting sustainable communities.

"The Kildalton Project will bring alive this vision in a vital island community and is the kind of project where we can add support and expertise to already hard working rural community groups."

Jackie Thomson, Chair of South Islay Development, and Visitor Centre Manager at the Ardbeg Distillery commented: "We thank The North Highland Initiative and Ardbeg Distillery for helping us initiate The Kildalton Project; Islay is really 'on the move' and South Islay in particular is becoming a dynamic place to visit as a result of the projects we already have underway.

"A new community hub will be an important piece of the jigsaw in sustaining Port Ellen as a vibrant community."

The Glenmorangie Company, which owns Ardbeg, released a statement on the project from its director of corporate social responsibility Hamish Torrie. He concluded: "The Kildalton Project is a great illustration of our long term commitment to playing our part in the community of Islay. 

Ardbeg Kildalton has been created by Dr.Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, from a range of different ages and styles of Ardbeg matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

"Ardbeg Kildalton is a rather curious whisky, created from an interesting cask selection. Sublime whiskies from two carefully selected years have been chosen for their juxtaposed, but complimentary styles.

"A blessed marriage of firm, smoky, but creamy Ardbeg from bourbon barrels with rather racy, spicy whiskies from new and refill sherry casks has given a harmonious union of bold, colourful flavours.

Ardbeg Kildalton is available to buy from Ardbeg Distillery with an RRP of £120. It will be available to purchase online in the autumn.