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ARDBEG         19 years old 40 %      
Distilled 1974
Bottled 1993
Trademark of Proprietors:
Ardbeg Distillery Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG         22 years old 40%     
Distilled 1974
Bottled 1996
Trademark of Proprietors:
Ardbeg Distillery Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG         23 years old 40%      
Distilled 1975
Bottled 1998
Trademark of Proprietors:
Glenmorangie pic
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG         19 years old 40%      
Distilled 1976
Bottled 1995
Proprietors: Ardbeg Distillery Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG         23 years old 40%     
Distilled 1976
Bottled 1999
Trademark of Proprietors:
Glenmorangie pic
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
ARDBEG         21 years old 40 %         
Distilled 1978
Bottled 1999
Trademark of Proprietors:
Glenmorangie pic
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG         18 years old 56 %      

Cask Strenght
Distilled 1975
Bottled December 1993
Not diluted
No chill filtration
No colouring
Wm. Cadenhead, 32 Unionstreet,

ARDBEG         28 years old 53,2 %            
Distilled 15.2.67
Matured in a dark oloroso butt
Butt no. 574
Bottled 11.95
488 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

ARDBEG         28 years old 53,7 %             
Distilled 15.2.67
Matured in a pale oloroso butt
Butt no 575
Bottled 11.95
548 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh
ARDBEG         23 years old 51,2 %
Distilled 22.3.74
Cask No. 1063 & 65
Bottled 8.8.97
386 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

ARDBEG         20 years old 43 %      
Distilled 27.9.74
Cask nos. 4383
Bottled 5.95
220 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

ARDBEG         23 years old 43 %      
Distilled 22.3.74
Cask Nos. 1059,60 & 62
Bottled 8.97
610 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

ARDBEG         8 years old 43 %       
Distilled 28.2.91
Cask Nos. 611 -615
Bottled 17.3.99
2360 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh
ARDBEG         8 years old 43 %     
Distilled on 19th March 1992
Cask Nos. 414-415
Bottled on 28th March 2000
Natural Colour
910 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

ARDBEG         11 years old 55,4 %       
Distilled 1991
Cask no. 1176
Bottled 3-12-02
Proprietors: Glenmorangie pic
Speymalt WhiskyDistiller Ltd, Elgin
ARDBEG         TEN years old 46 %     INFO
The Ultimate
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG             Aged 10 years   56,6 %                    
Distilled May 1998
Cask type: 1st Fill Sherry Gorda
1 of only 497 bottles
Society Single Cask No. 33.74
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults,
Leith, Edinburgh
A dirty dram for Mary Poppins

ARDBEG         17 years old 40 %     INFO
The Ultimate
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG         29 years old 50 %     
A Single Cask Bottling
Distilled March 1972
Finished in Sherry Cask
- Minimum 6 Months
Bottled August 2001
432 bottles
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

ARDBEG         27 years old 50 %
Single Cask Bottling
Distilled March 1973
Bottled July 2000
282 bottles
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

ARDBEG         24 years old 50%      
Single Cask Bottling
Distilled October 1975
Bottled May 2000
713 bottles
No Chill Filtartion
No Colouring
Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

ARDBEG         10 years old 50 %     
Single Cask Bottling
Distilled September 1990
Bottled March 2001
312 bottles
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Doyglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

ARDBEG         19 years old 43 %     
Distilled 27.9.74
Cask No. 4395
Bottled 6.94
300 bottles
Genummerde flessen
Van Wees, Amersfoort

ARDBEG         11 years old 55,6%      
Distilled 1991
Cask no. 1182
Bottled 21-08-02
Proprietors: Glenmorangie pic
Speymalt Whisky Dist.Ltd, Elgin

ARDBEG         11 years old 55,8 %      
Distilled 1991
Cask no. 1174
Bottled 12-11-02
Proprietors: Glenmorangie pic
Speymalt Whisky Dist. Ltd, Elgin.
ARDBEG         29 years old 43%      
Distilled 1974
Bottled 2003
Trade Mark of Proprietors:
Glenmorangie pic.
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG   UIGEADAIL                         INFO
geen leeftijd vermelding 54,2 %    
The Ultimate
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Traditional Strenght
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG         6 years old 58,9 %     INFO
Exclusive Committee Reserve
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
For Discussion...
Distilled 1997
Bottled 2003
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG         1975   23 years old 43 %   
The Ultimate
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1975
Bottled 1998
Limited Edition
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG         1977      46 %      
The Ultimate
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Very Old Single Islay
Distilled 1977
Non Chill - Filtered
Limited Edition
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG      1978      19 years old 43 %   
The Ultimate
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1978
Bottled 1997
Limited Edition
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG         30 years old 40 %          INFO
Finest Islay
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll
ARDBEG         8 years old 46 %          INFO
Distilled 1990
Cask Ref: MM 2998
Cask Type: Bourbon
Bottled June 1999
No Chill Fltration
No Colouring
Murray McDavid Ltd, Glasgow and London

ARDBEG         over 9 years old 43 %  
Distilled Autumn 1990
Bottled Spring 2000
No Colouring
Not Chill Filtered
Douglas McGibbon & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

ARDBEG         11 years old   58,4%      
Distilled 1990
Bottled 2001
Trademark of Proprietors:
Glenmorangie pic
Speymalt Whisky Dist. Ltd, Elgin

ARDBEG         25 years old 46 %     INFO
Islay malt scotch whisky
the ultimate whisky experience
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG         6 years old 58,3%      INFO
Committee approved
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1998
Bottled 2004
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay,

ARDBEG         10 years old 59,9%           INFO
Distilled May 94
Bottled Oct 04
Society Cask code 33.51
Outturn 293 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh

ARDBEG         24 years old 57,6 %       INFO    
Lightly Peated
Bottled at Cask Strenght,
Distilled: 1980
Bottled: 2004 in Cask Strength
Limited Edition 1300 Bottles
'A very unusual experience'.

ARDBEG         28 years old 43%      
Distilled 1975
Bottled 2003
Proprietors: Glenmorangie pic
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG         10 years old 59,5%     
Distilled May 94
Bottled Oct 04
Society Cask code 33.50
Outturn 383 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Lang may your lum reek'.

12  years old 40 %
Limited Edition

ARDBEG    1978     27 years old 43 %        
Distilled 1978
Bottled 2005
Trade Mark of Proprietors:
Glenmorangie plc
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin

ARDBEG   6 years old 56,2 %         INFO
Date distilled May 98
Date bottled Apr 05
Society Cask code 33.57
Outturn 779 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Stornoway black pudding wrapped in Elastoplast'

ARDBEG   6 years old 59,4%        INFO
Date distilled May 98
Date bottled Apr 05
Society Cask code 33.55
Outturn 262 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,   
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Young but devine'

ARDBEG     9 years old 40 %         INFO
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distillation Date: April 1996
Barrels Bottling Date: April 2005
Cask Type: Refill Bourbon
Trade Mark of Proprietors:
The Glenmorangie Company Ltd
Gordon & Macphail, Elgin
ARDBEG  1996   9 years old  53,1  %         
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1996
Cask no. 937
Bottled 1-9-05
Trade Mark of Proprietors: Glenmorangie plc
Speymalt Whisky Dist, Ltd, Elgin

ARDBEG   16 years old 46 %         INFO
Limited 1990 Release
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bottled in The Year 2006
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG        2008                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ALMOST THERE  54,1 %    INFO
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1998
VERY  YOUNG  Bottled 2004
STILL  YOUNG  Bottled 2006
ALMOST  THERE  Bottled 2007
2008   TEN  YEARS  OLD
3 rd  RELEASE   BOTTLED  2007
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG 2008                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 RENAISSANCE  55,9 %                                                            
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Ultimate Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Distilled 1998
VERY  YOUNG  Bottled 2004
STILL  YOUNG  Bottled 2006
ALMOST  THERE  Bottled 2007
WE' VE  ARRIVED  Bottled 2008
Final Release Bottled 2008  RENAISSANCE
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG  40 %                INFO                                                
Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Limited Release
Ardbeg Distillery Limited
Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG  Aged 10 years 57,2 %       INFO                                    
Society Single Cask No. 33.72
1983 - 2008
Distilled May 1998
Cask type 1st Fill barrel / Ex Bourbon
Outturn 255 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Mellow treat'

ARDBEG  Aged 10 years 57,8 %                                         
Society Single Cask No. 33.73
1983   -  2008
Distilled May 1998
Cask type 1st Fill Sherry Gorda
Outturn 782 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'An entire meal - and more !

ARDBEG                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               STELLAR  RELEASE   58,9 %          INFO
Non chill - filtered
Limited Release
Ardbeg Distillery Limited,
ARDBEG  1976                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     over 31 years old  52,4 %                               
Single Islay Malt Scotch Whisky
Date Cask Filled: 4 Nov 1976
Cask No: 2397
Cask Type: Sherry Butt
Date Bottled: 10 June 2008
Numbered Bottles
Output: 519 Bottles
Signature: Michael Head, Distillery Manager
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll
ARDBEG  Aged 10 years   56,6 %        INFO     
Distilled May 1998
Cask type: 1st Fill Sherry Gorda
1 of only 497 bottles
Society Single Cask No. 33.74
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults,
Leith, Edinburgh
A dirty dram for Mary Poppins
ARDBEG Aged 10 years 56.3 %        INFO                            
Distilled May 1998
Cask Type: First Fill Barrel
1 of 242 bottles
Society Single Cask No: 33.76
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults,
Leith, Edinburgh
A civilized scout camp

ARDBEG                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       CORRYVRECKAN    57.1 %    INFO                 
Not for the Faint Hearted !
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG Aged 11 years  55.4 %      INFO                           
Distilled May 1998
Cask Type: First Fill Barrel
1 of 198 bottles
Society Single Cask No: 33.78
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults,
Leith, Edinburgh
Leaves little flickering fires

ARDBEG    Aged  10 years  56.4 %  INFO
Society Single Cask No. 33.86
Distilled Sept.1999
Cask Type: 1st Fill Barrel
Outturn: 243 bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
"Hot N Cold

S N   2 0 1 0
Limited Release
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG   Guaranted  10  years old  46 %  INFO
Non Chill - Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG     Aged  10  years  57.6 %    INFO
Society Single Cask No. 33.87
Distilled February 2000
Cask Type: 1st Fill Barrel
Outturn: 255 bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, leith, Edinburgh
"Mossy Mohito

ARDBEG    Age  8 years  57,5 %      INFO
Distilled   October 2001
Cask Type: 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel
1 of 234 Bottles
Society Single Cask No: 33.92
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults,
Leith, Edinburgh
Earth daughter

ARDBEG  Aged 11 years  46 %                               
Distillation date: june 1998
Wood type: Barrel
Cask number: 1778
Bottling date: March 2010
Number of bottles: 276
Unchill - Filtered
Natural Colour
Ian MacLeod Distillers Ltd, Scotland        

ARDBEG      Age 10 years  55,9%      INFO              
Distilled August 1999
Cask Type: Refill Butt / ex sherry
1 of 626 Bottles
Society Single Cask No: 33.93
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, The Vaults,
Leith, Edinburgh
Tarry peppermint tea

ARDBEG  Age  5  years   60.8 %     INFO
Date Distilled: 20 Dec 2005
Cask Type: 2 Fill Sherry Butt
Outturn / One of only 252 Bottles
Society Single Cask No: 33.112
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith
Powerful, elegant and atmospheric

Age  11  years  55,6 %    INFO
Distilled August 1999
Cask type: Refill Butt / ex Sherry
Outturn: 1 of 468 Bottles
Society Single Cask No: 33.109
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
“Delightful intensity of sherry and smoke “

ARDBEG Aged  13 years   55.2 %   INFO
SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY                     

FROM  A  SINGLE  CASK Distilled October 1997
Cask Type: Second Fill Barrel / ex Bourbon of only 223 Bottles
Society Single Cask 33.102

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
Smoked porcine

 Aged  11 years  55.7 %  INFO
Distilled August 1999
Cask Type Refill  Butt / ex sherry
1 of only 538 Bottles
Society Single Cask: 33.104
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,                                        
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
An Algerian café

Aged  7 years  59.6 %  INFO
Distilled July 2003
Cask Type: First Fill Barrel / Ex Bourbon
Society Single Cask No. 33.101
Outturn One of 245 Bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh.
“ Fabulous , thigh – slapping smoke “

   51, 2  %     INFO

Non Chill – Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

ARDBEG   SPACE   1 9 9 9    49 %   INFO
 Distilled in 1999
 Bottled in 2012
 Ardbeg Distillery, Isle of Islay, Argyll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ARDBOG   52,1 %  



At least 10 years old Matured in Manzanilla sherry casks  

Non Chill - Filtered Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

Aged 11 years 56.1 %                          
Date distilled: 30TH  April 2002
Cask type: 2ND  Fill Barrel ex Bourbon
Society Single Cask no: 33.130
Outturn: One of only 242 bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
The Farmyard and the Chip Shop

Established 1815
47.4 %                                                
1 8 1 5   -   2 0 1 5
The Ultimate Islay Single Malt
Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Distillery Limited
Isle of Islay, Argyll


The Ultimate Islay Single malt Scotch Whisky
Non Chill – Filtered
Sea spray. Terry rope,. Immense smoky intensity
Ardbeg Distillery  Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll

Est 1815
46,6 %
The Ultimate Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Smoky, Sweet, Singularly rounded
Non Chill – Filtered
Ardbeg Distillery Limited, Isle of Islay, Argyll
“Unquestionably the greatest  distilley tob e found on earth.
If perfection on the palate exists this is it”
Jim Murray’s “The complete book of whisky”.

The Ardbeg Distillery lies on the most southerly part of Islay on the rugged shores of the
Atlantic Ocean.

Ardbeg Distillery is subject to fierce winds, driving rain and eerie coverings of mist.
These weather conditions would be more extreme were it not fort he shelter of the Mull
of Oa. The Distillery is sheltered from the harsh excess of the mighty Atlantic by the
rounded Oa, the inspiration fort he outstanding Ardbeg An Oa.

Like the peninsula that shares its name, Ardbeg An Oa is particularly rounded, due in no small part to  time spent in the gathering vat. Here we marry together whisky from
several different casks, including new charred oak, PX sherry and first fill bourbon. Here
they beca,e fully familar with each other.

The result is a dram with smoky power, mellowed by a delectable, smooth sweetness.
Hallmark Ardbeg peat, dark chocolate and aniseed are wrapped in smooth, silky
butterscotch, black pepper and clove, before rising to an intense crescendo of flavour.


The Kildalton Distilleries
ARDBEG (1815 - 1996)  (1997

Port Ellen, Islay, Argyll. Licentiehouder: Ardbeg Distillery Ltd. Eigendom van Glenmorangie Pic.
Sinds 1798 was de familie MacDougall actief als boeren op grond te Ardbeg, Airigh nam Beist en de helft van Lagavulin.
Er werd toen ook al gedistilleerd, maar hoofdzakelijk voor eigen gebruik.
Het commercieel distilleren nam een aanvang in 1815 toen John MacDougall, financieel gesteund door Thomas Buchanan Jr, koopman te Glasgow een distilleerderij begon.
In 1835 was de produktie ongeveer 2260 liter spirit per jaar.
In 1838 verleende Walter Frederick Campbell, de landeigenaar, een pachtovereenkomst voor de Ardbeg boerderij en distilleerderij, en 8000 vierkante meter grond voor zeven en vijf-tig jaar aan Thomas Buchanan Jr, het bedrag was £ 1800.
John's zoon Alexander, die de handelsnaam voerde Alexander MacDougall & Co. Alexander raakte later invalide en zijn zuster Margaret werd mede licentiehouder.
Colin Hay, de zoon van de koetsier van Walter Frederick Campbell werd toen manager te Ardbeg.
Na de dood van Alexander in 1853 werd Flora, de zuster van Margaret partner.
Tijdens het leiderschap van Colin Hay groeide Ardbeg uit tot een kleine gemeenschap van ongeveer 200 mensen.
Colin Hay werd de alleen eigenaar na de dood van de zusters Ma;<EBoiigaJLl.
Colin Hay had twee zoons, waarvan Colin distillateur werd en Walter dokter, en ook aan-deelhouder in de distilleerderij.
De Buchanan's waren nog steeds financieel betrokken bij Ardbeg.
Barnard, die Ardbeg bezocht in 1886, nam waar dat Ardbeg toen een wash still had van 18.160 liter, een spirit still van 1362 liter en men met 60 man personeel, 1135 miljoen liter per jaar produceerde !
In 1888 werd een nieuwe huurovereenkomst verleend aan Alexander Wilson Gray Buchanan en Colin Hay, met het recht gebruik te maken van de pier te Ardbeg.
De huur van de pier was £ 100.
Colin Hay stierf op 10 Februari 1899.
In 1902 werd Alexander MacDougall & Co een limited company.
In 1922 werd Ardbeg gekocht voor £ 19000, inclusief het land van Captain Iain Ramsay, de landeigenaar, die in financiële moeilijkheden was geraakt.
£ 9000 werd kontant betaald, de rest zou in gedeeltes worden betaald, maar door de heel moeilijke tijd toen, werd in 1927 het bedrag verminderd tot £ 5000 en in 1932 afgeschreven.
In 1959 werd Ardbeg Distillery Ltd gevormd, gevolgd door Ardbeg Distillery Trust in 1973, met als deelnemers The Distillers Company Ltd (D.C.L) en Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd.

Ardbeg Distillery
Distillery operating hours:6 days/week, 24 hours/day
Number of employees:  13 full-time; 2 part-time; 8 seasonal
Water source: Loch Uigeadail
Water reserve: est 55 million gallons
Water colour: brown
Peat content of water: trace
Malt source: Port Ellen
Own floor maltings: no
Malt type: Optic
Malt specification phenols: average 54 ppm
Finished spirit phenols: average 23-24 ppm from May 1998;
 16-17 ppm previously
Malt storage: 70 tonnes
Mill type:  Boby, installed 1881
Grist storage: 5 tonnes
Mash tun construction: stainless steel, semi-lauter
Mash size: 4,5 tonnes
First water: 17.500 litres at 64o C
Second water: 8.000 litres at 82o C
Third water: 17.500 litres at 90o C
Number of washbacks: 6
Wash construction: Oregon pine
Wasback charge: 23.500 litres
Yeast:  Mauri cultered yeast
Amount of yeast: 75 kg per washback
Lengt of fermentation:  65-68 hours (shorts: week):
96 hours (longs: weekend)
Initial fermentation temperature:  20o C (16o C idfa Fridays)
Strenght of wash: 8 per cent abv
Number of wash stills: 1
Eash still built: 1974
Wash still capacity: 18.279 litres
Wash still charge: 11.700 litres (64 per cent of capacity)
Heat source: steam coil with heating pans
Wash still height: 12 feet 3 inches (3.73 m)
Wash still shape: lamp-glass
Lyne arm: very gently rising
Lenght of low-wines run: around 5 hours
Low-wines collection range:46 per cent abv - 1 per cent abv
Number of wash stills: 1
Wash still built: 1974
Wash still capacity: 18.279 litres
Wash still charge: 11.700 litres (64 per cent of capacity
Heat source: steam coil with heating pans
Wash still height: 12 feet 3 inches (3.73 m)
Wash still shape: lamp-glass
Lyne arm: very gently rising

Lenght of low-wines run: around 5 hours
Low-wines collection range: 46 per cent abv - 1 per cent abv
Number of spirit stills: 1
Spirit still built:  2001
Spirit still capacity: 16.957 litres
Spirit still charge: 13.660 litres (81 per cent of capacity)
Strenght of spirit still charge: 25 per cent abv
Heat source: steam coil with heating pans
Spirit still height: 12 feet (3.66 m)
Spirit still shape: lamp-glass
Lyne arm: gently rising
Condensers: two, externally sited, containing 238 tubes
Lenght of foreshot run: around 10 minutes
Lenght of spirit run:around 5 hours 15 minutes
Lenght of feints run: around 3 hours 30 minutes
Spirit cut: 73 per cent abv - 62.5 per cent abv
Distilling strenght: 69.5 per cent abv - 70.5 per cent abv
Storage strenght: 63.5 per cent abv
Average spirit yield: 402.1 litres of pure alcohol per tonne of malt (2003)
Disposal of pot ale and spent lees  to local contractors for spreading on farmland
Type of casks filled for branded malt: 50 per cent first-fill bourbon (chiefly ex-Jack Daniels
 air-dried wood, barrels rather than hogsheads); 50  per cent second-fill bourbon (same origins);  very little sherry;
futher finishes and experiments
 in hand
Current annual output:  950.000 litres of pure alcohol
Number of warehouses: 5 (numbered 3, 9, 10, 10 X and 11)
Type of warehouses  dunnage: (3, 9, 10 X); racked (10, 11)
Storage capacity on Islay: 24.000 casks
Percentage of branded malt entirely: 100 per cent at present. In future all branded malt aged
on Islay will spend at least 10 years on Islay
Vatting and bottling location: Broxburn
Distillery expressions: 10 year old,
 17- year old,  Uigeadail,  Lord of the Isles (25- year old)  Vintage-dated bottling, Ardbeg committee bottlings,
Major blending roles:   Ballantyne's, Teacher's, Black Bottle

In 1977 werd Hiram Walker de alleen eigenaar, voor £ 300.000.
In 1982 werd Ardbeg gesloten met een verlies van 18 banen.
Tussen 1982 en 1989 werd Ardbeg verbouwd en toen verdween ook de mouterij.
In 1989 werd Ardbeg weer opgestart.
In 1996 werd Ardbeg weer gesloten.
In Maart 1997 verkoopt Allied Domecq Ardbeg aan Glenmorangie Plc voor £ 7.000.000, inclusief merknaam en voorraad.
Glenmorangie Pic heeft enorm geinvesteerd in Ardbeg. Naast het op de markt brengen van de verschillende bottelingen heeft men ook de distilleerderij zelf grondig onder handen genomen .
Men beschikt nu over een lunchroom, congresruimte en een bezoekers centrum met winkel. Dit alles is gevestigd in de oude mouterij No. 1 waar vroeger in twee kilns de gerst werd gedroogd.
In de toekomst wil men ook zalbf weer gaan mouten.
Ardbeg heeft twee met stoomverhitte ketels met een kapaciteit van ongeveer 600.000 liter spirit per jaar.
De gebruikte vaten zijn sinds de overname door Glenmorangie Plc, Amerikaanse refill Bourbon vaten, afkomstig van Heaven Hill en Makers Mark.
Het koel- en proceswater komt van de Loch Uisgeadale.en Loch Iaran. De mout komt van Port Ellen Maltings.
Ian Henderson was de manager van Ardbeg tot in 1997 toen EdwinATG.Dobson; afkomstig van Glen Moray, manager werd.
De Mash tun is 4 ton.
De zes Wash backs zijn groot 28.000 liter.
De Wash stills is groot 21.000 liter, de Spirit still 17.000 liter.
Edwin Dobson, de eerste manager na Henderson van Ardbeg, en een soort wegbereider werd opgevolgd door Stuart Thomson.
De toekomst van Ardbeg werd onzeker in 1978 toen Hiram Walker en Allied samen gingen.
Men bezat nu twee distilleerderijen op Islay: Ardbeg en Laphroaig.
Ardbeg was gesloten van 1981 tot 1989.
Gedurende 1989 - 1996 was Ardbeg jaarlijks twee maanden in bedrijf
Toen in 1997 Ardbeg werd aangekocht door Glenmorangie plc was de distilleerderij in een Staat van verval.
Glenmorangie ging toen ook de verplichting aan jaarlijks 150.000 liter Ardbeg te leveren voor de blends Ballantines en Teachers.
Ardbeg produceerde maar een paar maanden in 1997.

De staat van de distilleerderij was zo siecht dat als gevolg van technische Problemen de produktie moest worden gestaakt van October 1997 tot April 1998.
£ 3,5 miljoen investeerde Glenmorangie in reparaties en herstel, alleen het bezoekerscen-trum vroeg al een bedrag van £ 750.000.
0p 28 Juni 1997 kwam er voor het eerst weer whisky uit de ketels van Ardbeg.
Ardbeg gebruikt voor het distillatie- en koelingproces ongeveer 700.000 liter water per week.

Brand owned by:Glenmorangie Plc
Manager:Stuart Thomson
Production: 18.000 litres pure alcohol per week
Share used for single malt:
Half of total production; the rest is sold for blending, though this may change
Degree of peating: 50 ppm compared to Laproaig's 35 ppm
Water source: Loch Uigedale, three miles from the distillery
Peculiarities of wash still:It has a purifier on the lyne arm which captures the heavier more impure alcohols and brings them back to the still for further distilling. This explains the complex character of Ardbeg.
Wood: Ex-bourbon casks
Shorty: a Jack Russell terrier, is the dog at Ardbeg.

Delicate nose but pungently peaty on the palate, big and robust with hints of oak

Oak on the nose with traces of bourbon against a peaty background. Well-balanced on
the palate with floral traces and refined oak.

Peaty, bourbon nose, plenty of smoke; palate big with smoke tar, chocolate and cocoa,
long memorable finish.

Peaty and sweet on the nose with hints of bourbon. Smoky peat with good balance and a
hint of orange choclate.

ARDBEG (1815 - 1996)  (1997
1794   Er wordt melding gemaakt dat op de plek waar in 1815 de Ardbeg distilleerderij
zou worden gebouwd
1815   Ardbeg wordt gesticht door John MacDougall
1853   Na de dood van Alexander MacDougall, de zoon van John, nemen zijn zusters, Mar
gareth en Flora, geholpen door Colin Hay de distilleerderij over Na de dood van de twee zusters MacDougall gaat Colin Hay alleen               verder
1888   Collin Hay en Alexander Wilson zijn de licentienemers
1900   Colin Hay wordt opgevolgd door zijn zoon
1902   Alexander MacDougall & Co werd een Limited Company.
1959   Ardbeg Distillery Ltd gesticht
1973   Ardbeg Distillery Trust gevormd door The Distillers Company Ltd (D.C.L.) en
 Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd
1977   Hiram Walker wordt de alleen eigenaar
         De mouterij wordt gesloten
1979   Kildalton, een minder turfgerookte malt wordt gedurende een aantal jaren ge
1981   Ardbeg sluit
1987   Allied Lyons neemt Hiram Walker over
1989   Ardbeg wordt weer opgestart
          Iain Henderson is de manager
1996   Ardbeg sluit in Juli, en Ardbeg wordt te koop aangeboden
1997   Glenmorangie plc neemt Ardbeg over voor £ 7 miljoen
          Ardbeg wordt weer opgestart op 25 Juni
          De voorraad whisky heeft een waarde van £ 5,5 miljoen, rest voor het zwaar
 vervallen gebouwencomplex £ 1,5 miljoen
          Ardbeg 17 years old en de Provenance worden uitgebracht
1998   Bezoekerscentrum geopend
2000   Ardbeg 10 years old uitgebracht
          Ardbeg Committee opgericht
2001   Lord of the Isles uitgebracht
          Ardbeg 1977 uitgebracht
2002   Ardbeg Committee Rserve uitgebracht
          Ardbeg 1974 uitgebracht
2003   Ardbeg Uigedail uitgebracht
2004   Ardbeg Very Young uitgebracht
          Ardbeg Kildalton Limited Edition uitgebracht (not peated)
2005   Ardbeg Serendipity (with Glen Moray) uitgebracht
2006   Ardbeg 1965 uitgebracht
          Ardbeg Still Young uitgebracht
2007   Het Managers echtpaar Stuart én Jacky Thomson verlaten Ardbeg
2006   Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist uitgebracht

The Taste of History
Islay has a rich historical past spanning a thousand years. At one time the sear of the mediaeval kingdom of the 'Lords of the Isles' who ruled the whole of the Western Isles of Scotland and used the sea as the highway for their 'longships',
Over the centuries Islay has been occupied by Celts, Picts, Gaels and Vikings and indeed some of the old ruins standing on the island are reminders of a turbulent past.
In fact, some of the Celtic influences are still in evidence on Islay and, close to the Ardbeg Distillery lies the ancient Celtic Cross of Kildalton dating from the 8th century - one of the oldest and finest examples of Celtic art in Scotland. The charateristic 'A', long associated with Ardbeg, is another reminder of the Celtic heritage and is derived from the famous 'Book of Kells' dating from the same period.
Two centuries ago, Ardbeg, which in Gaelic means 'small headland' was the lonely haunt of smugglers. It is located on the south-eastern shore of Islay.
The Ardbeg distillery boasts its own private water source - Loch Uigeadail is soft and pure. The waters of the loch flow over rocks and peat masses making them beautifully adapted for distilling.

Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd
Douglas House 18, Lynedoch Crescent, Glasgow G 3 6 £ Q.
In 1949 Fred Douglas Laing established Douglas Laing & Co primarily as a blender and bottler for his Scotch Whisky blends The King of Scots and House of Peers, which are available today internationally.
Large stocks and reserves of aging Malts in particular, were laid down by Mr. Laing, many being guarded for 25 - 30 years specifically for the older blends such as the 25 and 30 Year Old KING OF SCOTS.
With more than 50 different Malts in stock, over the last 50 years from filling programme, it was obvious that the Malt Master would have certain favourites. These have variously been chalked off the times of regular quality control, as being of particular qualitative interest; both commercially, and for the pleasure of the Directors. It has been their particular perk, benefit and privelege to nose and taste some of the finest quality samples indicative of the Distillers's art.
It was judged by the two current owners/directors (sons of the founder, so nepotism is not dead!) that some of these stocks were 'too good to blend'. And so the OLD MALT CASK selection was developed in 1999 to extend those perks and benefits beyond the Director's tasting suite!
Initially it was felt that 50 different Malts commemorating the Company's 50th Anniversary would be approciate. That tally has now been exeeded but our preferred strenght of 50 X alc/vol is maintained. We believe this strenght creates a fine, round, full quality for various Malts when taken 'neat'. It also allows the regular consumer to know precisely how much or little water should be added to this artisan and craftman's distillate.
These selected Malt Whiskies have waited many years to reach their classic heights of qua-lity. Not only with your health in mind, but with a view to greater enjoyment, may we suggest that in the style of the founder, whose signature endorses your Malt, you enjoy its glass leisurely and slowly.
Douglas Laing.

Tasting Notes Cask No. 2397:

Colour: Deep golden
Ardbeg at its most paradoxial - powerful and pungent, yet displaying a degree of delicacy and
balsamic freshness. At full strength, dark chocolate is filled with cherry brandy and infused with tarry peat smoke. Marzipan, toffee and vanilla mingle with rum and raisin ice cream; then the sweetness is sliced through by pungent black peppercorns, fennel and the salty - balsamic complexity of menthol, pine resin and sea spray. Barbequed bananas, cinnamon -
spiced pears and caramalised walnuts bring sizzling warmth and deep maturity.
With water, waves of classic Ardbeg notes emerge, fused with juicy malt, luscious fruits
and oily nuts: tarry ropes, briny sea - salt and fresh zesty limes battle it out against blueberry
pie, spiced plum skins and weighty crushed sultanas. Creamy honey, treacle toffee and hazel-
nuts collide with pinesap, cedar and iodine. Espresso and cream simmers bin the background.
Rich and oily with an intense burst of smoked berry fruits, treacle and juicy malt. The taste is
initially deep and powerful as an avalanche of mouthwatering baked blueberry pie, dried
apricots, dates and plums deepens and rolls over the tongue, drizzled with treacle and sprink-
ling of peaty - demerara sugar. A mouthful of Macchiato coffee and clotted cream rises to
a crescendo bringing a robust and earthy warmth, before a wave of briny - iodine, powdery
violets and walnut oil freshens then dries the palate with lingering tarry espresso.
Long, spiced, oily and salty with spiced blueberry, treacle, sun - dried raisins and walnut oil.
Dr. W.B. Lumsden, Master Distiller  

In the headlong rush of science in the late autumn of 2011, a rocket ship blasted off this
earth at 25.000 mph. Deep within it, no ordinary cargo, for the rocket carried research
vials of precious Ardbeg  - crafted  molecules, the beginning of a fascinating first in re -
search experiment by Ardbeg in …… space!

This is the most audacious adventure ever undertaken by Ardbeg Distillery ( or any other

distillery for that matter). Ardbeg have been invited by U S based space research company
NanoRacks L L C  to take part in an experiment to test this micro organic compounds in a
maturation experiment  ( the interaction of these compounds with charred oak) between
normal gravity on Earth  and micro - gravity," far up in space on the International Space
Station. The vials contain a class of compounds known as "terpenes" a set of chemicals
which are very widespread in nature and often very aromatic and flavor active. The expe -
riment could explain the workings of these large, complex molecules as they will remain
on the International Space Station for at least tow years and help us uncover new truths
about the change that these molecules undergo  in this near ' zero gravity'  environment.
The experiment will have applications for a varity of commercial and research products
including perhaps, one day, future generations of ARDBEG. Working is close collaboration
with the ARDBEG Distillery team in Scotland, the team will closely monitor the experiment
against control samples here on earth, both in Houston, Texas at the NanoRack's facility
and more familliary, in Warehouse 3 at ARDBEG distillery on Islay!This historic step will
allow us to reach out to other scientic bodies across Scotland ( and the world) led by ARD-
BEGS's own renowed distilling and chemistry expert, Dr. Bill Lumsden, with regular updates
on progress at Ardbeg.com However, what goes up must go down, and ARDBEG is destined
to go down well whatever the atmosphere. So when the experiment successfully lands back
on our own planet, join us and your fellow peaty - earthlings in saluting this momentous
ARDBEG GALILEO - let's celebrate! To celebrate this research initiative, please welcome a
very unusual and very limited ARDBEG, aptly named ARDBEG GALILEO. At its heart ARDBEG
GALILEO is hallmark 1999 ARDBEG which has been matured in classic  ex - bourbon barrels
and some ex - Marsala casks from Sicily. The result is a deep golden, rich and smoky ARDBEG
Bottled at a strength of 49 % it is non chill - filtered for extra texture and mouthfeel

Celebrate Ardbeg's Ultimate Journey into Space !
September 2012
Ardbeg Islay Malt Whisky lanceert vandaag haar nieuwste Limited Edition ter ere van de
deelname aan een uniek experiment in de ruimte. Deze expressie is een eerbetoon aan
Galileo Galilei, een van de grondleggers van moderne atstronomie.
Ardbeg Galileo  is een speciale vatting van verschillende stijlen Ardbeg whisky die te rijpen
zijn gelegd in 1999. Het hart van de Galileo is spirit gerijpt in ex - Marsala wijnvaten uit
Dit is gecombineerd met Ardbeg 'klassieke stijl',  gerijpt in 1st fill en 2nd fill ex - bourbon
vaten. Het resultaat is een 12 jaar oude van 49 % A B V, non - chill filtered, met een zoetig
en rokerig karakter. De Marsala - vaten zorgen voor fruitige aroma's en texturen in Ardbeg's
befaamde geturfde en rokerige huisstijl.
De whisky genoemd naar een sleutelfiguur in de moderne astromie, viert Ardbeg's deelname
aan een baan brekend experiment. Eind 2011 is de distilleerderij gevraagd door nanoRacks L L C.

een ruintevaartonderzoeksbureau in Houston, texas om deel te nemen aan een uniek    ex periment.

Geen enkele andere distilleerderij heeft dit eerder gedaan. Op 11 Oktober 2011
is de Soyuz raket vertrokken naar het Internationaal Space Station I S S met aan boord 4 test
tubes. In houston en in warehouse 3 van de Ardbeg distillerderij op Islay liggen de controle
tubes, zodat de rijping bij normale zwaartekracht op aarde en rijping bij micro - zwaarte-
kracht op het I S S vergeleken kunnen worden. Dit wordt gedaan door micro - organische deeltjes

uit de Ardbeg new make spirit in de test tubes te laten reageren met deeltjes van
de eikenhouyten vaten die Ardbeg gebruikt voor de rijping.
De tubes bevatten deeltjes die bekend staan als 'terpenen' een chemisch element dat veel
voorkomt in de natuur en dat vaak zeer aromatisch en ' flavour active 'is. Het experiment
zal minimaal duren en hopelijk meer inzicht bieden in de werking van deze grote, complexe
moleculen. Daarnaast kan het Ardbeg helpen bij het vinden van nieuwe chemische bouw-
stenen in het eigen smakenspectrum. De resultaten van het experiment kunnen toegepast worden

in een scala aan commerciële en onderzoeksproducten waaronder dus wellicht ooit
toekomstige whiskies van Ardbeg.

Dr Bill Lumsden Director of Distilling. Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks reageert: "So
far, so good - het experiment in live gegaan in Januari 2012 toen de wetenschappers
de barriere tussen de twee componenten doorbraken. Het zal nog zeker een jaar duren
voor de eerste resultaten zichtbaar zijn, maar in de tussentijd willen wij het experiment
vieren met de introduktie van Ardbeg Galileo. Onze eigen aardse bijdrage in de ruimte'.
De whisky uit 1999 is apart gelegd kort na de overname van de distillerderij door Glenmorangie

Company en de voorraad beslaat ook maar uit enkele duizenden vaten.

The Ardbeg distillery lies on the most southerly part of islay and on the rugged shores
of the Arlantic Ocean.

Release the peat in the spirit…
Islay is an antique land, where Celtic monks found refuge from raiding Norseman and
early distillers smuggled their illicit 'agua vitae' at ARDBEG'S rocky cove. Where the
Lords of the Isles ruled from Loch Finlaggan between 1130 and 1493 - the clan kings
whose bloodline continued through the MacDougalls of ARDBEG, the founders of our                                                                                                                                                                                                   
great and noble whisky.

Malted barley is harvested and dried in smoke from burning peat turfs carved from this
ancient land, locking the peating levels into the whisky. The peat of Islay entombs the
deep and primeval spirit of this place. So to fully understand the story of ARDBEG you
have to dig a little deeper.
Stand on Islay peat bogs and under your feet lie thousands of years history. The peat
that is the essence of ARDBEG embodies a heady mix of life and death and everything
in between.
For to dig into the peat is a travel back in time. Down and down. To when clans fought
and ruled. And Viking treasures were lost and trodden into the yielding ground+ until
you reach the remains of vegetation, last walked upon before the first century.

Release the spirit in the peat…
Our forefathers and their forefathers toiled to ´win´ the peat to dry the barley, to make
our whisky. ARDBEG is born on peat and the deep, marshy bogs which give such com/
pelling flavours to all things Islay. ARDBEG´S classic smoky, but sweet, whisky has been
intriguingly interwoven with salty, savoury whiskies, rare drams which have slumbered
undisturbed for at least ten long years in rare Manzanilla sherry casks. The end result is                                                                       

 a whisky of great depth and maturity, but one which also displays ARDBEG´S captivating

Islay's peaty earth has yielded much: Mesolithic flints, arrowheads from 4000 - 2500 BC,
bronze axes, gold brooches and the greatest prize, a leaf - shaped bronze sword, the same
deep ochre colour of ARDBEG itself. The weapon was said to have been thrust into its
earthly resting place 3000 years befor, in honour of the man who yielded it.
Surely hidden still, are hordes of historical treasures. But it is the spirits we release from
the peat that will gift us the essence of true and ancient Islay - in every sip of ARDBEG.
And that is the greatest treasure of all.

Cut 3 foot into the bog ansd you'll have dug 1000 years in the past. Dig deeper and you'll
discover peat formed from prehistoric vegetation - the essence of Ardbeg.
Bronze sword unearthed near Oa - the cutting edge in clan warfare fashion 3000 years
Eons have passed, continents have collided, oceans have drifted on fiery mantles. From ship
wrecks to T - Rex, who knows what lurks beneath?
See a penny, dig it up', and all day you'll have to clean off the muck. Silver coin board dating
from 1635 found buried at Ardnave.
Make mine a double…Silver, bronze and gold were found in a ' His & Hers' Viking grave on Islay.
Where woolly mammoths once roamed, Woolly hill sheep and Committee Members now
flock here.
Underboot you may well find the skull and crossbones of smugglers and pirates who perished whilst plying their illicit trade.
A fessilised monster footprint, found near Airgh Nam Beist.
Ancient crustacean - believed to be a very early member of the Clan MacDougall, forefathers
of Ardbeg's founders.

ARDBEG is renowed as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all of Islay's whiskies.
In ARDBEG we celebrate our peaty roots in the marshy wetlands of Islay. ARDBEG's smoky
sweetness has been intriguingly interwoven with salty, savoury whiskies which have slumbered undisturbed in rare

ex - Manzanilla sherry casks, all for at least ten long years

Water: Loch Iarran, Loch Uigeadail
Mash tun: 1 x 4 tonnes
Washbacks: 6 x 28000 litres
1 wash still x 21000 litres
1 x spirit still x 17000 litres
Output: 600.000 litres

Ardbeg Supernova flavoured from space
September, 2015
The Glenmorangie Company has released a new expression of Ardbeg, its Islay single malt scotch whisky, following an experiment to investigate how micro or zero gravity would affect the flavour of whisky.
The company says the experiment began in October 2011 when vials of new make Ardbeg distillate and shards of Ardbeg casks were sent to the US National Lab on the international space station by the distillery's partner, US space research company, NanoRacks.
The vials orbited Earth at 17,227 miles an hour for nearly three years.
Glenmorangie/Ardbeg's director of distilling and whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden then analysed them alongside control samples. He said: "When I nosed and tasted the space samples, it became clear that much more of Ardberg's smoky, phenolic character shone through - to reveal a different set of smoky flavours which I have not encountered here on Earth before."
Further analysis, looking at ratios of types of wood extractive compounds showed differences between the two sets of samples, which the company says shows that gravity has an effect of maturation.
So, the distillery has released what it describes as its final bottling of Ardbeg Supernova (non-chill filtered, bottled at 54.3% abv, £124.99) exclusively to its loyal following, the 'Ardbeg Committee' (120,000 in more than 130 countries). It is said to contain the most highly peated Ardbeg, said to provide an "intensity reminiscent of the exploding star after which it is named".

Here's to the next 200 years. A never ending, rich and enticing combination of
classic Ardbeggian notes and incredibly creamy flavours.

Times change . Ardbeg remains. The past, present and future in a glass….Classic
of Ardbeg's yesteryear on the nose as mellow, Rich and enticing Ardbeggian flavours
mingle with dark chocolate, Treacle and Nutty oak. Then like standing on Ardbeg's
pier this morning, water brings forth briny sea - spray with a Pine Resin lime top
note for a remarkably Fresh Bouquet. On the palate Robust Peat smoke and savoury
Smoky Bacon meet creamy Sweet Vanilla, milk chocolate with the hint of Sherry
Casks culminating in a taste of the future… an aftertaste that is never ending..

Celebrating 200 years of Ardbeg.
200 years is a long time. But not in whisky years. If one year equals 7 years in Shortie's
life, Ardbeg only ages every 10 years. Se we're still a young pup and there's plenty of life
in the old dog yet. Yet who could have known back in 1815 that two hundred years later
Ardbeg would still be made in the same place, from the same ingredients, in the same way.

Today everyone at Ardbeg knows that Ardbeg - both the place and the whisky - will endure
for the next 200 years. So on this momentous occasion, our 200th Anniversary, we raise a glass

to the past, the present and the future safe in the knowledge that there will never be
a robot that could take the place of the people who made Ardbeg. We pledge Ardbeg will
never be automated or simulated. Only over celebrated…

no synthetic nose or tastebuds will ever come close to replicating the skills of our whisky
creators and no man - made machine will ever be capable of producing man - made
whisky because times change but Ardbeg remains which is why….

Ardbeg gets its name from the Gaelic Airde Beaga which is little height.


Blended malt born by mistake at Glenmorangie’s blending plant after some clever lateral thinking.
The Glenmorangie Company had no plans to produce this accidental blended malt; its creation arose from a mistake made in the blending hall at the company’s blending facility at Broxburn.
As a result of the error, Serendipity became a blend of Ardbeg and Glen Moray single malts, with Ardbeg making up most of the mix.
The result was a toned-down Ardbeg that Glenmorangie marketed as a ‘lighter taste of Islay’ bottled as a 12-year-old.

Blended malt

One production manager at The Glenmorangie Company described the creation of Serendipity as a disaster. Marketing manager Hamish Torrie had another view.
The mistake occurred in 2005 in the blending hall at Broxburn when a nameless operative dumped a large volume of 12-year-old Glen Moray into a much larger volume of older Ardbeg. However, Torrie decided to take advantage of the situation by releasing the accidental vatting as a limited edition expression he named Serendipity.
Some 16,000 bottles were produced – under the old Macdonald & Muir company name – which sold out very quickly at £39.99 per bottle. There are, however, a large number of bottles available at online auction sites, although their value has somewhat increased.
Serendipity was not the first large-scale blending error to have occurred at Broxburn. In 1999 a vat of Glenmorangie 21-year-old was accidently mixed with a smaller amount of another whisky. The mistake, which contained 80% Glenmorangie, was subsequently released as 80:20 by the company’s Douglas McNiven & Co. subsidiary.

Macdonald & Muir is founded as an Edinburgh wine and spirits merchant
Macdonald & Muir changes its name to The Glenmorangie Company and moves into new premises at Broxburn
Glenmorangie purchases Ardbeg distillery on Islay
The accidental 80:20 blended malt is created following an error in the Broxburn blending hall
A second mistake at Broxburn results in Serendipity, an accidental blend of Ardbeg and Glen Moray whisky
Glenmorangie sells Glen Moray distillery to French group La Martiniquaise
Glenmorangie moves its blending and bottling from Broxburn to new premises in Livingstone

The Glenmorangie Company
2005 - present

Macdonald & Muir
2005 - present

In the history of Ardbeg and Islay whisky, the figure of Colin Hay looms large. Not only did he bring the distillery back from the brink of destruction, he is credited with ushering in the most prosperous period in its history. I
Hay was a native Ileach, born in Kildalton Parish, who began work at the distillery in the 1840s. The business was managed by Alexander McDougall, the resident partner in Alexander McDougall & Co, but all was not well.
An Excise officer reported in 1846 that McDougall ‘is paralytic and constantly confined to his chair [and] consequently not able to look after his affairs’. The exciseman believed that distillery workers were taking advantage of his incapacity, stealing new make spirit from the worm and carrying it off for their own consumption.  
McDougall’s sisters Margaret and Flora had to take on much of the responsibility for running the business, appointing Hay as their manager, but they struggled to keep the business going after their brother’s death in 1853. When Ardbeg’s agents and major creditors, Buchanan, Wilson & Co., examined the books after Flora’s death in 1857, they were horrified by what they found.
Customers had been removing casks without any record of payments to their accounts. Lawyers’ fees had been paid in whisky from the warehouse rather than in cash, leaving a gaping hole in the company’s own stocks.
At the same time, lavish personal expenses had been put through the company’s books, including an intriguing bill for providing ‘outfits and a passage to India’ for Alexander’s late brother and distillery manager, Dugald. None of the debts appeared to be recoverable.
As they had done in 1838, when the Ardbeg distillery was last threatened with closure, Buchanan, Wilson & Co stepped in to provide a financial rescue package. And the man they chose to lead the recovery was Colin Hay.
The manager had become Margaret’s partner in the business in the 1850s, and sole partner after Margaret’s death in 1865. Hugely indebted to Buchanan, Wilson & Co to begin with, he took Alexander Buchanan into partnership in Alexander McDougall & Co in 1872, swapping the debt for equity. Ardbeg’s future was secured – for now at least.
Ardbeg’s whisky was in great demand from blenders in the mid-19th century. It was also supplied to wine and spirits merchants across the UK for sale as a single malt, and exported to the US, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. It was ‘decidedly the best whisky made in Scotland’, proclaimed one merchant’s advert. A New Zealand hotelkeeper called it ‘The Ticket for Scotchmen’.   
Hay worked tirelessly to develop the business. He installed larger stills to increase production capacity and erected new warehouses to store growing stocks of maturing whisky.
He built a new deep-water quay to land coal, barley and other essential supplies on the distillery’s doorstep, and to ship whisky more quickly and cheaply to the mainland. In 1883 he installed a steam engine at the distillery, when the water wheel alone could no longer supply the power required for new machinery
Journalist Alfred Barnard noted that production had risen to 250,000 gallons of whisky per annum by 1886 – 25 times the amount distilled annually in the 1820s. There were 60 men employed at the distillery at that time, and the small village of Ardbeg had grown to about 200 people, with its own school for the children of the village and surrounding area.
By then, Hay had built a magnificent house on the seafront next to Warehouse No 3. He laid out a beautiful garden on the hillside to the west of the village, and built a large greenhouse to grow fruit and vegetables. A well-appointed billiards room was provided for the men to pass their leisure time, and wives and children could join them for special events in the evenings.
Hay was a pillar of Islay society. He was a farmer of nearly 2,300 acres, on which he raised cattle, as well as sheep. He was also a Justice of the Peace, a parish councillor and a driving force of the Glasgow Islay Association. A passionate supporter of Gaelic education, he championed the revival of Gaelic literary traditions.  
Ardbeg survived the depression in the market for Islay whiskies of the late 1880s and early 1890s. It survived, too, the huge fire of December 1887 which destroyed the stillhouse, tun room, malt barns and kiln. When Hay retired in 1897, the distillery was reputedly the largest and most successful on the island.
Hay hoped, but failed, to establish a dynasty at Ardbeg. His eldest son Alexander was his chosen successor, but died in 1896. A second son, Robert, was described by Hay himself as a ‘a soft-headed young fellow’ who ran away to work on a sheep farm and hunt rabbits in New Zealand. He died soon after finally obeying his father’s demand to return home.
A third son, Colin Elliot Hay, returned from the mainland as manager after Alexander Hay’s death, and he became the resident partner and one of the leading shareholders in Alexander McDougall & Co.
The son tried hard to emulate his father, who had criticised him for exhibiting ‘no moral strength or courage to break off from evil companionship’ when he was a young man living on the mainland.
There were rumours in the village that he drank too much, and he became unpopular. He left Islay after the First World War, returning only rarely, and died with crippling debts in 1928.
Successive management teams had to deal with many new crises at the distillery after the departure of the Hays. It closed during the Depression of the early 1930s. It was closed again from 1981 until 1989, and then in 1996, before reopening in 1997 under current owner The Glenmorangie Company.
Much of Ardbeg’s resilience can be put down to the work of Colin Hay, who turned a troubled business around, built a solid reputation for the whisky and laid the foundations of a ‘brand’ that is one of the best-known in Scotland today.

The next time you feel like moaning about ‘health and safety gone mad’, think about the old pot ale tank at Glen Elgin distillery. Made from 6ft by 3ft sections of cast-iron, it blew apart one night, sending one of the panels 30 metres across the yard. ‘It would have taken your head off,’ Ed Dodson says.
As anyone who’s read the recent feature outlining the 20-year-old story of the resurrection of Ardbeg will know, Dodson was the whisky veteran sent in to patch up the Islay distillery and get it up and running again following its acquisition by Glenmorangie in 1997.
The hard part about writing this type of article – and keeping it to a vaguely sensible length – is not so much knowing what to include, but what to leave out. And, even then, there’s that nagging feeling that some of the best stuff has ended up on the cutting-room floor.
Hence the Glen Elgin story (Ardbeg’s old heating tank for the mash was cast-iron, and was an early casualty of the Glenmorangie takeover) – not to mention the time in April 1997 when blue asbestos was discovered in Ardbeg’s roof, leading to a temporary shutdown.

How did Ardbeg’s spirit arrive at its combination of fruit and smoke?
Dodson was clearly fascinated by the Ardbeg spirit character – had been since the 1970s during his ‘Islay period’ of single malt drinking. ‘I’d never been there, but it didn’t make sense to me,’ he recalls. ‘I always thought Laphroaig and Lagavulin were really heavy compared to Ardbeg. But it wasn’t until I began to nose the new make spirit [in June 1997] that I thought: “This is why.”’
But where does that quintessential Ardbeg character – the lush fruit keeping the smoke in check – come from? Dodson has a sacrilegious hypothesis: ‘My theory – which didn’t go down well with the marketing department – was that, when they were starting up Ardbeg, the whisky was probably crap, so they decided to put an angle on the lyne arm.
‘And it was probably still no good, so they put in the purifier, collecting any liquid and directing it back into the body of the still, allowing it to run back down, but not stopping the vapours from heading up the still.

‘It’s serendipity. A lot of the things that have happened in the Scotch whisky industry came about by accident.’
Serendipity, yes, but also the willingness to make mistakes and the good sense to learn from them, to improve, hone, tinker to get the best possible result out of the raw materials and equipment at your disposal.
Distilleries, it seems, have an almost human character, full of temperament and idiosyncratic traits that defy scientific analysis. Dodson had thought that he’d be able to get 1.3m litres of pure alcohol a year out of Ardbeg – until he faced the challenge of working with a spirit still that’s almost as big as the wash still. ‘I could only get to the 1.1m-litre mark because of the need to get a balanced distillation,’ he says.
On the night that the first spirit ran from the stills again at Ardbeg, the plan was to bring the wash still in slowly and gently. ‘That won’t work,’ said Duncan Logan, 35-year Ardbeg veteran and, despite no longer working there, an invaluable source of advice to Dodson at that time. ‘You have to let it come in, then slow it down afterwards. If you shut the steam off, you’ll lose it.’ Logan was ignored – but not for long.
At Ardbeg, the talk now is not of survival, but expansion. That brings its own challenges and potential pitfalls. Intervening in the serendipitous evolutionary process that has made Ardbeg Ardbeg over a period of more than two centuries is something that has to be done with care and sensitivity.
But Ardbeg is a distillery, not a museum. And if a distillery is like a person, then change is part of what makes you realise you’re still alive. What will the serendipitous discoveries of tomorrow be? It’ll be fun finding out.


Whisky passion: Over the past decade, Mickey Heads has become inextricably linked to Ardbeg
There’s a pleasing numerical symmetry to Mickey’s tenure at Ardbeg: the 20th manager of the distillery, marking 10 years in 2017, having joined almost exactly 10 years after Glenmorangie bought the distillery.
That acquisition ended an uncertain period during which Ardbeg could have become another Port Ellen after a stop-start period of production (it was silent from 1981-9 and 1996-7, and scarcely running at full speed at other times).
Apt, then, that its management should pass to a true Ileach, one born just a few miles from Ardbeg and whose father (a stillman) and grandfather (head maltman at Port Ellen) were also closely involved in the industry. Arguably all the more important to reinforce those local links when the distillery’s current owner (luxury goods corporation LVMH) has its offices in faraway Paris.
That said, Mickey’s career path – or ‘meander’ as he has modestly described it – appeared at first to be taking him further away from Ardbeg, rather than closer to it. From cutting peat for Laphroaig to becoming the distillery’s brewer (during which time he also helped out at Ardbeg, then owned by the same company), then hopping across to run Jura between 1999 and 2007.
But then came the call back to Islay, and Ardbeg. And now, 10 years on, Ardbeggians all over the world are being encouraged to raise a glass, and three cheers, to Mickey.
In a whisky world where hype and marketing cliché all too often overwhelm the truth of an essentially local product, it’s not hard to celebrate someone so down-to-earth, hard-working and humble, and someone whose connection to what he makes is so powerful.
Corryvreckan in my glass, to recall that first Indian summer visit. Sláinte, Mickey.

January 2018
The legendary Ardbeg bottlings of the 1960s and 1970s owe their existence to Hamish Scott, who transformed the way whisky was made at the Islay distillery during his tenure as manager. Scott also had an entrepreneurial streak – and introduced the world to the iconic Ardbeg ‘A’.

Bottlings of Ardbeg distilled in the 1960s and 1970s have achieved legendary status among collectors, and fetch huge sums at auction. They were distilled at a time when the Islay distillery was managed by the late Hamish Scott, one of the most colourful characters in its long and eventful history.
For many years, enthusiasts beat a path to his door, eager to discover what it was about his regime that led to the creation of such distinctive Islay single malts. Here’s what happened…
Scott had amassed a wealth of experience before arriving on Islay in September 1964: he had worked at Aberfeldy, Glen Ord and BenRiach, as well as two grain whisky distilleries on the mainland, and had also made rum as the manager of the Diamond distillery in Guyana. He quickly set to work on a much-needed modernisation project at Ardbeg which was to transform the way the distillery made whisky.    
The new manager was shocked to discover how long it took to germinate barley at Ardbeg’s maltings. His first improvement was to heat the water used in the process and reduce the time required by more than half, to about five days.  
Interviewed by whisky writer Bert Bruyneel many years later, Scott recalled that the distillery had used a mix of brewers’ and distillers’ yeast before his arrival. He decided to use only the latter, as ‘the quality was always fairly consistent and gave better results’.
In 1964, the worm tub serving Ardbeg’s spirit still was replaced with a condenser – the wash still’s had been replaced four years earlier. Another fundamental change in the distilling regime followed in 1966, when the stills were converted from direct coal firing to steam heating. This gave greater control over the heating of the wash and the low wines in the stills, reducing the risk of ‘scalding’ the liquid.   
This modernisation programme must have had a significant effect on the character of the new make distilled at Ardbeg from the mid-1960s, producing a more consistent and perhaps less ‘pungent’ spirit for maturation. Demand from blenders soared, and new warehouses were built to meet the requirements of increased production.
Scott was promoted to the post of general manager in 1971 by his employer, the Ardbeg Distillery Ltd, giving him greater responsibility for planning, purchasing and reporting. He was immediately tasked with increasing production to meet the growing demand for fillings.

Ardbeg cask 1974
Lighter style: Ardbeg’s 1974 whiskies tend to be less peaty – but it wasn’t a deliberate move
Ardbeg production was constrained by the availability of malt from the distillery’s maltings, but Scott reckoned he could buy in up to 15% of the extra malt required from the mainland, without affecting the character of the spirit. His chosen supplier was Moray Firth Malting of Inverness, which was found to be most capable of providing malt peated to the required levels.

Despite his best efforts, however, the vagaries of the Islay weather helped defeat his attempts to produce a spirit of consistent character. Scott had set up a company, Islay Peat Developments (IPD), to mechanise the peat cutting process on Islay, and IPD delivered large quantities of peat to Ardbeg – such that the directors in Glasgow raised concerns about the high level of peat used in the 1972-73 season, and the resulting expense.

Peating levels then fell dramatically in 1973-74, the result (according to Scott) of adverse weather conditions in which the IPD machinery could not operate.

These events help to explain why some of the famous 1974 Ardbeg are far less peaty than others from the mid-1970s – something very evident in Serge Valentin’s excellent reviews of vintage Ardbegs on whiskyfun.com.

Of course Scott was making Ardbeg primarily for the blending companies which dominated the whisky market at the time. While the distillery had bottled small quantities of single malt for select customers in the past, by the 1960s only a few cases were made available each year, for Islay hotels and for Christmas gifts to the directors.
Scott told whisky writer Gavin Smith that he filled just a single 50-gallon cask each year for bottling as a single malt, and the casks were old. However, the whisky was immensely popular among those lucky enough to sample it, and the manager recognised another excellent business opportunity.
In 1975, Scott sent a few casks of Ardbeg to Strathleven Bonded Warehouses Ltd on the mainland, to be bottled at 80 degrees proof (about 45% abv) as a single malt. He supplied the distillery’s own labels for the project, designed (with what has subsequently become the famous Ardbeg ‘A’) by an art college lecturer and professional football referee, Rollo Kyle, who was a frequent visitor to the island.

Ardbeg single malts distilled under Scott in the 1970s are highly prized

Scott took the single malt to a trade exhibition in Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall, where he sold 90 cases and generated a lot of interest in the product. Sales were steady if unspectacular thereafter, although the company received an order for 50 cases from Groothandel Van Wees of the Netherlands at the beginning of 1976. A large number of miniatures were bottled for local traders that year.
Venturing into single malt in this way was a bold and typically entrepreneurial initiative from the distillery manager, but Scott’s days at Ardbeg were numbered. One of the Ardbeg Distillery Ltd’s minority shareholders, the Scottish arm of the multinational distillery company Hiram Walker-Gooderham & Worts, acquired the business in early 1977. Scott later told me that he had been warned that he was unlikely to remain in his post under the new regime for longer than six months – and so it proved.
After 13 years in charge at Ardbeg, with minimal interference from the mainland, Scott found it troublesome to implement the corporate rules and regulations which Hiram Walker attempted to impose. Much more serious, however, were differences over how the whisky should be made.

Ardbeg A
A is for…: Scott commissioned the design of the Ardbeg ‘A’ from art college lecturer Rollo Kyle
Scott and his line manager disagreed about a dramatic fall in the quality of the spirit produced at Ardbeg in 1976/77, with Scott blaming new methods imposed from the mainland.
‘In my opinion, the deterioration in quality of the spirit is directly related to the recent changes which have been effected in the maltings,’ he reported. ‘Namely the shortening of the kilning cycle and the insufficient time allowed for the “smoking” of the malt with peat, combined with the requirement to force-dry the kiln, because of the higher moisture content of the green malt.’ He believed that quality was being sacrificed to cut costs.
Scott left Ardbeg in 1977, with a new manager put in place to make Ardbeg the Hiram Walker way. Scott set up as a shopkeeper in nearby Port Ellen and later ran a bed and breakfast business near the pier with his wife.
He died in 2016, and is remembered as one of the great characters in the long, rollercoaster history of the distillery: the man who made some of the greatest malt whiskies to come from the island, and who introduced the world to the iconic Ardbeg ‘A’.

February 2018
Today’s announcement that Ardbeg is to double distillation capacity crowns a period of unprecedented growth for Islay single malt whisky. New distilleries, revived distilleries, expanding distilleries… here’s a rundown of the latest moves on ‘Whisky Island’
Ardbeg distillery expansion
Big name: Ardbeg’s expansion plans are the latest vote of confidence for Islay whisky
Can the world ever have enough of Islay single malt whisky? Apparently not, if recent events are anything to go by.
With new distilleries at various stages of planning or construction – Ardnahoe, Gartbreck and more to come – plus the revival of Port Ellen and the expansion of existing plants, this is a period of unprecedented growth in whisky production on the Hebridean island.
It’s hard to believe that, just a few decades ago, business was tough for some of Islay’s distillers. Ardbeg ran only intermittently throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Port Ellen shut down in 1983, and Bruichladdich didn’t produce a drop of spirit in the second half of the 1990s.
That’s all changed now. Laphroaig and Bowmore, Lagavulin and Ardbeg… Islay has more than its fair share of single malt’s household names, with a dynamic supporting cast that includes Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila and Kilchoman.
Meanwhile, the volume of whisky made on the island has been steadily increasing for some time. For instance, production from Caol Ila’s six stills, following a revamp in 2011, has reached a formidable 6.5m litres of pure alcohol (lpa) a year.
As the Islay whisky boom continues, it can be hard to keep up with everything that’s happening on the island. So here’s a handy rundown of recent events…

February 2018
Islay single malt whisky distillery Ardbeg is set to add two more stills, doubling its distillation capacity and moving production into a new still house.
Expansion has been on the cards at Ardbeg for some time, thanks to rising sales
The multi-million-pound project, funded by distillery owner The Glenmorangie Company, is due to start work this year, subject to planning permission, with completion scheduled for 2019.
Plans include the construction of a new still house on a site once occupied by warehouses, with the current still house converted to house new washbacks.
The expanded distillery’s four stills – its existing wash and spirit stills, plus a new pair of wash and spirit stills – will be housed in a ‘traditional-style’ building, Ardbeg said.
Planning permission has already been granted to move Ardbeg’s boiler house a little further away from the distillery, and work on this has begun.
Plans for the new still house have been submitted to Argyll & Bute Council, and the distillery is set to hold a meeting for local residents on Islay to discuss the project in the near future.
Ardbeg is planning to ‘continue its normal operations’ while construction work takes place.
‘We are delighted by Ardbeg’s success since 1997 – and by the growing passion for our whisky from fans around the world,’ said Marc Hoellinger, president and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, a subsidiary of Moët Hennessy, itself a division of luxury goods giant LVMH.
‘Ardbeg has been distilled on Islay since 1815 and, with a new still house, we will pave the way for future generations of smoky malt whisky lovers to discover the ultimate Islay malt.’
Ardbeg’s current era of high demand and expansion is a world away from its near demise two decades ago, when it was acquired by Glenmorangie in a poor state of repair.
The distillery spent most of the 1980s and 1990s either silent, working intermittently and conducting experiments or being used for spare parts by nearby Laphroaig, then under the same ownership.
News of the planned expansion comes just weeks after Glenmorangie unveiled plans to build its own new still house to accommodate two new stills, in addition to the six currently used at the distillery in Tain.
It also comes at a time of expanding whisky production on Islay: Kilchoman said it would double production capacity in November last year, and Laphroaig is also planning to add more stills.

Meanwhile, the new Ardnahoe distillery is due to start production this spring, plans for a distillery at Gartbreck Farm have been resurrected and the long-silent Port Ellen distillery is to be revived by 2020.

March 2018
Islay single malt Ardbeg is harking back to the 1960s ‘Summer of Love’ with its latest Ardbeg Day limited release, Ardbeg Grooves.
Groovy whisky: This year’s Ardbeg Day whisky recalls the ‘Summer of Love’ 51 years ago
The annual release ties in with Ardbeg Day on Saturday, 2 June, an annual celebration centred on the distillery’s open day during Fèis Ìle, the Islay Festival of Music and Malt.
For this year’s bottling, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks Dr Bill Lumsden has matured part of the whisky in re-toasted red wine casks.
These casks were intensely charred to create heavy grooves in the surface of the wood, designed to produce more intense flavours of ‘smoked spices, distant bonfires and chilli-seasoned meats’.
As in previous years, two variants will be launched to mark Ardbeg Day: Ardbeg Grooves, bottled at 46% abv and on general release, priced at £98 for a 70cl bottle; and Ardbeg Peat & Love, bottled exclusively for members of the Ardbeg Committee at 51.6%, priced at £89 a bottle.

The latter will go on sale at 9am next Wednesday, 14 March, and Committee members will be sent a link to purchase their own bottle.

Ardbeg Day will include a live online tasting, broadcasting to all Ardbeg Embassies around the world, plus the launch of the single malt’s Summer of Peat & Love campaign, with a 1960s-style VW van touring festivals, bars and Ardbeg Embassies across the UK.

‘The Ardbeg Village of the 1960s was a very different place – a groovy wee community, with its own post office, billiards hall, two choirs and even a football team,’ said Ardbeg distillery manager Mickey Heads.
‘These days the Ardbeg community is a worldwide one, and Ardbeg Day is the best way for us all to come together and raise a dram to the ultimate Islay single malt.

Owned by The Glenmorangie Company (LVMH SA) Address Port Ellen, Islay, Argyll,

Capacity (Litres of Pure Alcohol-LPA) 1 150 000 litres                                                                                                                                                                                      Vis
Among single malt aficionados, particularly those who have a preference for peaty tasting malts, Ardbeg holds an almost cult status.
Ardbeg was officially established by the MacDougall family in 1815. Subsequently its ownership underwent many changes, particularly in the latter half of the twentieth century.
Since Allied Distillers sold the distillery to Glenmorangie plc in 1997, the latter has been busy building up their stock of quality consistent spirit.
Unlike other Islay malts like Laphroaig or Lagavulin, Ardbeg tries to avoid the more pungent phenols, thus a smoky after-taste is greatly reduced, while not detracting from the peaty taste.

The Ardbeg core portfolio
10 Year Old – a 46% strength ABV ‘Distillery Bottled’ Single Malt Whisky. (£25-40)
Colour Pale, straw-coloured
Aroma Peaty infused with zesty citrus notes, cinnamon and pears, all wrapped in ceraceous dark chocolate.
Taste After the initial burst of peat with hints of tangy lemon and lime juice, waves of warm creamy cappuccino mingle with barley notes, tobacco, strong black coffee, liquorice and cocoa.
Finish As the taste sensation deepens, waves of tarry smoke and liquorice root develop as the palate is continually coated with chewy peat oils. Smoky but slightly sweet with a lingering hint of malted barley.
For peat-lovers, or those willing to try a peaty Islay, Ardbeg 10 Year Old is probably the highest-quality ‘entry-level’ single malt available on the current market. It is possibly the distillery many Islay connoisseurs would choose as their favourite. Indeed, it is arguably the benchmark against which all other Islay malts are judged.
The tall stills at Ardbeg together with a purifier on top of the spirit, neither of which are seen at other Islay distilleries, help to contribute to the finesse and delicacy of a spirit that retains some of the over arching peaty flavours without it being too smoky. It does not flaunt the peat, however, rather it yields to the natural sweetness of the malt to produce a perfectly balanced whisky.
Ardbeg 10 Year Old is an exuberant maelstrom of complex peat and malty tangs with a hint of fruity floral flavours; definitely an in-your-face whisky to be treasured.

Uigeadail – a 54.2% strength ABV ‘Distillery Bottled’ Single Malt Whisky. (£40-70)
Colour Relatively Pale, straw-coloured
Aroma Peaty with subtle hints of fino sherry and slightly damp leather. Intensely laden with heady and smoky aromatics.
Taste A burst of winter fruitcake spices trigger a smoky-spicy explosion of intense and multi-layered, oily peat smoke, counter-balanced by a sumptuous mid-palate of honey glazed, smoked food and sweet, chewy treacle toffee and a touch of dried fruit.
Finish Smoky dominance with hints of spice. The waves of deep, smoky tones and rich aromas build up pleasingly on the palate like a fine Montecristo cigar.
The hard to pronounce Uigeadail (pronounced ‘Oog-a-dal’) is the name of the loch from which all Ardbeg water is drawn at the distillery. Since the launch in 2003 of this special bottling, it’s been an enormous success. It is both full of peat smoke, earthiness and layers of oak. Full bodied and rich with a texture that unctuously coats the mouth. The taste of Uigeadail is a provocative balance between sweet, spicy top notes and deep, smoky flavours.
The marriage of Ardbeg’s traditional deep, smoky note spirits with luscious, raisiny tones of old ex-Sherry casks give a sweet and smoky finish to this malt. It’s ‘non chill-filtered’ at high strength, thereby retaining maximum flavour and lending more body and added depth.
For peaty malt aficionados Uigeadail is an absolutely stunning whisky, and following the demise of the Ardbeg Airigh nam Beist (pronounced ‘Arry nam Baysht) a delicious vintage bottling from 1990, sadly discontinued as a result of exhausted stocks, (‘The Beist’ was an extremely popular Ardbeg, with an assertive edge and powerful peatiness balanced by a lovely honeyed flavour.) Uigeadail probably represents the best value in the core range.

Blasda – a 40% strength ABV ‘Distillery Bottled’ Single Malt Whisky. (£40-60)
Colour Relatively Pale, Fino sherry or white wine coloured
Aroma The aroma is reminiscent of baked creamy vanilla custard and roast chestnuts. A tingle of lemon and lime marmalade cuts through the vanilla with spiced pears Some tasters get a hint of cloves, pine cones and fresh mint or a breath of menthol and sea salt that rise from the glass. These elements are softened by ripe fruits that fuse with almond and vanilla.
Taste The initial sip is sweet with a mixture of sugared almonds, marzipan and hints of dried fruit. Refreshingly sweet while earthy, silky and creamy to the palate.  Gentle peat oils build on the palate, while remaining soft, clean and dry with a dusting of powdery sherbet. Tangy citrus notes freshen the palate with a gentle fizz. Later a gentle warmth  is provided by tingling spices and creamy cappuccino.
Finish A short finish of refreshing lemon vanilla and spiced apples

Launched in 2008, with a phenol level at only 8 parts per million, Blasda, chill-filtered and bottled at the distillery, has a lightly peaty taste. It is, however, still perfectly balanced, but light, sweet and delicious – a light expression of Ardbeg’s otherwise quite heavily peated whiskies.
In Gaelic Blasda means ‘sweet and delicious’. It caused quite a stir when it was released, with disapproving shouts of “It’s too sweet, where’s the peat?” The thing is, the point of this expression was to decrease the smoky peaty flavour in order to show the beautiful balance and complexity of Ardbeg’s fruity undertones, flavours which are otherwise difficult to distinguish.
Ardbeg’s Blasda is an ongoing product scheduled to have a three-year lifespan, as some 1800 bottles have been produced for the UK market.

Corryvreckan – a 57.1% strength ABV ‘Distillery Bottled’ Single Malt Whisky. (£60-80)
Colour Relatively Pale, straw-coloured or amber.
Aroma Heady, intense and powerful. Peaty with hints of fino sherry and slightly damp leather. You can smell the tarry ropes, creosote and linseed oil rising from deep within the vortex.
Taste A rich, luxuriant mouth feel. Intense and multi-layered oily peat smoke, sweet yet earthy, with a touch of dried citrus and forest fruits.
Finish Smoky dominance with hints of spices, grilled anchovies, charred lemons and seaweed.
If peaty whiskies are to your taste, you’ll be happy with this.
Ardbeg Corryvreckan has been a huge success since its launch in 2009, winning ‘World’s Best Single Malt Whisky’ at the ‘World Whisky Awards 2010’ and ‘Best No Age Statement Scotch ‘ scoring 96.5 points out of 100 from Jim Murray’s ‘Whisky Bible 2011’ and 2012.
Corryvreckan, according to the Ardbeg website, takes its name from a famous whirlpool that lies to the north of Islay, a place where only the bravest souls dare to venture.
Like the whirlpool itself, Corryvreckan is not for the faint-hearted!
Swirling aromas and torrents of deep, peaty, peppery taste lurk beneath the surface of this beautifully balanced dram. With the first sniff, be prepared to encounter the deep and turbulent force of Corryvreckan as it pulls you inwards.
As you succumb to its power, a heady mixture of waxy dark chocolate, warm blackcurrants and muscovado sugar grips you in its spell as a salvo of plump cherries and earthy pine needle arises torpedo-like towards you from its murky depths.

A decent balance of flavours is maintained throughout, ending with a lovely briny note right at the death.

Other Ardbeg whiskies worthy of mention:
Supernova, (58.9% ABV) (£125-200) launched in 2009 had a phenol level well in excess of 100 parts per million. Supernova 2010 (£80-100) also hit the 100 ppm mark but the strength of alcohol was slightly higher (60.1% ABV).

Ardbeg Supernova’s success was a true phenomenon, since the Advance Committee Release sold out in a matter of hours in January 2009. It also scooped ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’ from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2010, (scoring 97 points out of 100).

Several other Committee bottlings have been produced, among which notable ones include Rollercoaster  (57.3% ABV) (2010)(c £200) and Ardbeg Alligator (51.2% ABV) (2011) (c £150), which can only be purchased by Committee members.

Some harder to acquire bottles:
Ardbeg 1990 / Airigh Nam Beist 46% ABV (c £100.00)

The following three are precursors to Ardbeg 10 Year Old;

Ardbeg 1997 / ‘Very Young’ Committee Approved 58.3% ABV (c £325.00 )
Ardbeg 1998 / – Still Young 56.2% ABV (c £65.00)
Ardbeg 1998 / Almost There 54.1% ABV (c £100.00)

Ardbeg 17 Year Old 40% ABV (c £250.00)

Ardbeg 10 Year Old / Bot.1990’s 40% ABV (c £555.00)

Ardbeg 10 Year Old / Bot. 1980’s  40% ABV (c £600.00)

Ardbeg 1973 / 15 Year Old / Bot.1988 / Cask Strength / Sestante 53.5% ABV
(c £700.00)

Ardbeg 1976 / 31 Year Old / Cask 2397 / Sherry Butt  52.4% ABV  (c £999.00)

Ardbeg 1974 / Provenance / USA Bottling 55% ABV (c £1,200.00)

Ardbeg 1976 / Cask 2392 / Committee / Sherry Cask 55% ABV (c £1,750.00)

Ardbeg 1976 / Cask 2391 / Manager’s Choice / Sherry Cask  56%ABV
(c £3,999.00)

September 2018
Ardbeg has announced the launch of a third Ardbeg Twenty Something, a 22-year-old single malt honouring the people that saved the Islay distillery from closure.
Ardbeg Twenty Something 22 Year Old
Dark days: Ardbeg Twenty Something 22 Year Old was distilled during an uncertain period for the distillery
Following on from the first two editions, a 23-year-old released in October 2017 and a 21-year-old released in September 2016, Ardbeg Twenty Something 22 Year Old will be available exclusively to Committee Members from 4 October.
A 1996 vintage malt distilled in the retired still that now rests in the distillery courtyard, the expression has been matured in ex-Bourbon casks and bottled at 46.4% abv.
Its release marks a period of struggle for the Islay distillery, which closed for much of the 1980s and operated only sporadically in the 1990s.
The spirit used for the bottling was distilled during Ardbeg’s final year of operation before being acquired by the Glenmorangie Company in 1997.
‘This bottle is a magnificent reminder as to why Ardbeg should never be allowed to disappear,’ said Mickey Heads, Ardbeg distillery manager.
‘Ardbeg Twenty Something is for those who believed wholeheartedly in the Ardbeg distillery, which is why it’s fitting that this rare whisky – a 22 Year Old – will be enjoyed by our loyal Committee Members, who maintain that same belief.’
The whisky is described as having notes of ‘luscious tropical fruits’, as well as ‘peppermint tea and sweet vanilla toffee’ with ‘mouth-watering sweet smoke’.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks at Ardbeg, added: ‘The ex-Bourbon casks I selected for Ardbeg Twenty Something have delivered a beautiful dram, bursting with deep tropical aromas.
‘It offers an incredibly flavourful, silky quality which is exceptional. I can think of no better way to celebrate those whisky lovers who helped keep Ardbeg alive during its darkest days.’
Ardbeg Twenty Something 22 Year Old will be available exclusively via ardbeg.com for £440 a bottle.

October 2017
Ardbeg is to release Ardbeg Twenty Something, a 23-year-old single malt filled into cask at a time when the Islay distillery was facing an uncertain future.
Ardbeg Twenty Something
Trying times: Ardbeg was operating only sporadically when this spirit was laid down
The new expression, non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46.3% abv, will be sold exclusively to members of the Ardbeg Committee at a price of £430 for a 70cl bottle.
Ardbeg Twenty Something is a vatting of ex-Bourbon and ex-oloroso Sherry casks, filled at a very difficult time for the cult Islay distillery.
Ardbeg had been closed for most of the 1980s, and operated only sporadically during the 1990s before closing again in 1996 – but the distillery was acquired by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997, which restarted production that year.
Ardbeg owner Moët Hennessy said the new expression was being released exclusively to the Ardbeg Committee group of enthusiasts in recognition of their ‘enduring support’. The Committee pledges to ‘ensure the doors of Ardbeg never close again’.
Distillery manager and Committee chairman Mickey Heads, who spent some time at Ardbeg while working at nearby Laphroaig during the 1990s, said: ‘This magnificent whisky was created within the retired iconic still which stands proud outside our distillery today.
‘It’s a glimpse back into Ardbeg’s turbulent past and reaffirms just why the distillery couldn’t be allowed to disappear.’
Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks at Ardbeg, described Ardbeg Twenty Something as ‘bursting with rich, deep flavours’, with ‘an incredibly smoky, silky quality’.
The release follows last year’s launch of another Ardbeg Committee bottling of a similar age, Ardbeg Twenty One, priced at £310 a bottle.
Ardbeg Twenty Something will go on sale to Committee members from 2 November at www.ardbeg.com.
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