Here’s one with an altogether more grown-up twist to trick or treating – but, brace yourself, for there’s something sinister afoot in our take on Tipples this week…
Purveyors of potent, peaty scotch, Ardbeg, have taken three of their signature drams, The Monsters of Smoke, and given them a chilling twist, serving them up over Halloween in an ice cream van that would give Freddie Kruger nightmares.
Putting a whole new spin on ‘monster truck’, this one comes complete with horns, tentacles and beady eyes, and rents plumes of smoke about those who dare enter. Designed to despatch devilish twists on ice cream made with Ardbeg’s single malt scotch whisky as it rolls into town, there’ll be no jolly jingle when this beast makes its stops over the horror season, visiting London, Glasgow and Edinburgh in the run-up to Halloween on 31st October.
The vehicle, from masters of event making, The Persuaders, took three months and a team of twelve people to build, and has been created to pay homage to classic B-Movie beasts of the silver screen. Cue Fay Wray’s ear-piercing scream.
Teaming up with the founder of renowned artisanal ice cream parlour, Ruby Violet, the gory-ously ghoulish creations include a Cookies & Scream of Ardbeg ‘Wee Beastie’ ice cream sandwiched between charcoal cookies and coated in crunchy mealworms (optional, so we’re told); the Ahhh, No! Bar of Lapsang Souchong ice cream with an Ardbeg An Oa caramel centre coated in white chocolate, and the Ice Cream Groan, a charcoal cone filled with Ardbeg Ten smoky blackcurrant ice cream, topped with sour cherries and a brittle insect-flecked shard.
We’re not kidding either. Read that again. Never mind a Flake in your 99, here’s one ice cream vendor that puts ‘crunchy mealworms’ on your biscuits, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer my brittle caramel shards not insect-flecked, if I can help it. If you thought this was child’s play, you’ve got another thing coming. Whisky and wee beasts, indeed.
And if that’s not enough to give you the willies, visitors of the Ice Scream truck can also book an exclusive 45-minute session in a scary Monsters of Smoke ‘cage’ to experience squeamishly smoky cocktails.
There’s the Cherry Lipsmacker, a different slant on the old favourite whisky and cola, it summons flavours of smoky tea, syrup sweetness and treacle toffee, as cigar smoke and aniseed creep across your palate. Then, the Begroni, herbaceous and chocolatey, it nods at the heritage of the original when Count Negroni requested a punchier version of his favourite Americano. Made with Ardbeg Wee Beastie, this one has a spicy bite. Finally, the New Fashioned has a smoky brilliance, using Ardbeg Ten Years Old. Black pepper pops with cinnamon toffee, chewy peat oil and jammy blackcurrant tones for a taste that’ll take you to hell and back.
“Our ‘ice scream’ truck will be prowling the country this month,” says Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager, “leaving smoky delights in its wake during the spookiest time of the year. I’d urge whisky lovers to beware though: Ardbeg Wee Beastie is a dram with quite a bite, so while it may be encased in ice cream, you’ll still need to be on your guard.”
Evidently, these events are guaranteed to linger long in the nightmares of anyone who dares attend.
Happy Hallowe-en, everyone. You have been warned!
The ice creams are available to buy from the Ice Scream truck (free for existing Ardbeg Committee Members) and from Ruby Violet’s Coal Drops Yard outlet in London’s Kings Cross until stocks last.
Tickets are available to purchase in advance via www.ardbeg.com, and members of the Ardbeg Committee will receive a voucher for a complimentary serve of their choice. Sign up to the Committee for free at Ardbeg.com.
Photos by Matt Alexander/PA Wire