Foosball competitions, soccer players and rivers of whisky as thick as a Scottish accent are abound this Sunday evening at Blackbird Ordinary, which is hosting Ardbeg Day, the annual celebration of the single malt Scotch whisky from the Isle of Islay. The day commemorating the World Cup is the culmination of a series of Olympic-style events that takes place during the last week of May.
This year Ardbeg Day falls on June 1, when enthusiasts from all over the world flock to the Scottish isle and pay homage with a visit to the distillery. The 2014 holiday also celebrates the launch of Ardbeg Auriverdes limited release in Miami. The party kicks off this Sunday from 7 to 10 p.m.
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Miami is one of several cities in the U.S. to host the Ardbeg festivities. The foosball competitions include prize tickets to see the English vs. Ecuador pre-World Cup Match. Also expect to be graced with live music and entertainment. Guests will also be able to sample tastings of the limited release Auriverdes and complimentary barbecue.
The event is RSVP only. To get a spot, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The guest list has the potential to fill up, but anyone who is excluded will receive updates to future events.
In attendance at the release party will be Rooftop Soccer, players from the Miami United Football Club, a the member of the British Consulate General and -- most notably -- Blackbird Ordinary's head mixologist Fraser Hamilton (who also happens to be Scottish).
While Scotch is typically enjoyed neat, with a little water or on ice, Fraser will be whipping up three cocktails with several varieties of Ardbeg. They are:
- Purple Heather: Ardbeg ten-year with Plymouth Sloe Gin, freshly torn ginger, seasonal berries and Island Citrus
- Saber Rattle: Ardbeg Uigeadail with Pernod Absinthe, Peychaud Bitters, egg whites, citrus essence, hidden vanillin
- Old Macdonald: Ardbeg Blasda with chai-infused carpano antica formula, and Jerry Thomas Decanter-style bitters
Distinguished from blended Scotch whiskys, Ardbeg is a single malt, which means it is made exclusively at one distillery. Single malts are typically more expensive because the ingredients, malted barley in this case, are more expensive and less commonly used, said Ardbeg Regional Marketing Manager Trisha Cancilla. According to Cancilla, the flavor of Ardbeg can be described as "smokey and peaty."
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The Ardbeg distillery was founded in 1815 and is one of eight distilleries on the Isle of Islay.
The meaning of the term "Auriverdes" means gold (auri) for the golden color of the whiskey, and green (verdes) for the color of the bottle. A 750 mL bottle of Auriverdes retails anywhere from $99 to $125 per bottle. Regular Ardbeg sells for about $50 a bottle and is distributed throughout South Florida. Auriverdes, the distillery's newest release, will become available within the region after June 1.