Ardbeg TracTour Tastings – Friday July 11 2014

Last night saw the arrival of the Ardbeg TracTour in Canada, and its first stop was the Kensington Wine Market; North America’s first Ardbeg Embassay. The TracTour had just arrived from Taiwan after a long sea voyage.

The Ardbeg tractor is more than just a fun hot rod, lovingly rebuilt as a clever marketing stunt. Ardbeg’s whisky, the most heavily peated full production single malt in Scotland owes much of it’s signature style to the peat used to make it. So the Tractor is also a tribute to the hard working Tractors of Islay which are used to help harvest and transport the islands peat. Ardbeg Distillery manager Mickie Heads is even said to have had his first driving lesson on a Massie Ferguson tractor.

From the distillery:

“So here at Ardbeg, we feel the time has come to honour these oft-overlooked heroes of the peat bogs. In between shifts, we’ve been tinkering away in our workshop, waggling wires and polishing pistons under the tutelage of mechanical genius Paul Burnham, one of the UK’s top rod and custom car builders, to create… the ultimate Ardbeggian vehicle – the Ardbeg Hot Rod Tractor!

“Ardbeg is no ordinary whisky. And this is no ordinary tractor. It’s bigger. And shinier. With more power. And more roar. Building on the classic 1959 Massey Ferguson 35 chassis, so beloved of Islay famers and distillery workers, this is a one-of-a-kind, custom built, chrome clad model of dazzling proportions.

“Here are the specifications you’ll need to impress fellow TracTOURists out on the road:

  • 1959 Massey Ferguson 35 chassis
  • 546 bhp
  • 604 lb/ft of torque
  • 8.2 litre V8 supercharged engine
  • 8 custom configuration pipes
  • Weight: 2 tonnes
  • Rear wheel height: 4.5ft / 137cm (equivalent to 4.7 bottles of Ardbeg)
  • Colour: Ardbeg green, gold and chrome
  • Detailing: branded grill, bodywork and embroidered leather driver and passenger seats”

The Ardbeg TracTour has been on a bit of a global tour. To honour its visit to the Kensington Wine Market, we put on two back to back tastings with Ruaraidh McIntyre, Ardbeg’s Ambassador to Canada and their importer Charton Hobbs. Ruaraidh, who was born at the distillery, led participants through a range tasting including: Ardbeg 10 Year, Uigeadail, Corryvreckan, Galileo and Auriverdes. It was a great night, thanks to everyone who came, to Ruaraidh, Jordan Cameron and good folk at Charton Hobbs and Ardbeg for sending the TracTour our way!

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