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Ardbeg distillery

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ardbeg across bay - Canthusus.JPG
Region: Islay
OwnerLouis Vuitton Moët Hennessy
Water sourceLoch Uigeadail
No. of stills1 wash (18,000 L)
1 spirit (17,000 L)[1]
Capacity1,250,000 litres
TypeSingle Malt Scotch Whisky
Age(s)10 Year Old
Airigh Nam Beist
Ardbeg Day
Cask type(s)Bourbon, Sherry
Ardbeg Corryvreckan, named after a whirlpool situated to the north of Islay, has a particularly peated flavour.[2]
Ardbeg Corryvreckan, named after a whirlpool situated to the north of Islay, has a particularly peated flavour.[2]

Ardbeg Distillery (Scottish Gaelic: Taigh-staile na h-Àirde Bige) is a Scotch whisky distillery in Ardbeg on the south coast of the isle of Islay, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides group of islands. The distillery is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, and produces a heavily peated Islay whisky.[3] The distillery uses malted barley sourced from the maltings in Port Ellen.

History of the distillery

The Ardbeg distillery has been producing whisky since 1798, and began commercial production in 1815.[4] Like most Scottish distilleries, for most of its history, its whisky was produced for use in blended whisky, rather than as a single malt. By 1886 the distillery produced 300,000 gallons of whisky per year, and employed 60 workers.[4] Production was halted in 1981, but resumed on a limited basis in 1989 and continued at a low level through late 1996, during the period when Ardbeg was owned by Hiram Walker.[5] In 1997 the distillery was bought and reopened by Glenmorangie plc (subsequently taken over by the French company LVMH on 28 December 2004)[6] with production resuming on 25 June 1997 and full production resuming in 1998. The distillery was reopened by Ed Dodson in 1997 and handed over to Stuart Thomson, who managed it from 1997 to 2006. Michael "Mickey" Heads, an Islay native and former manager at Jura who had worked at Ardbeg years earlier, took over on 12 March 2007.

The name Ardbeg is an anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic An Àird Bheag, meaning The Small Promontory.[7]


Ardbeg's offerings have garnered an array of awards at international spirit ratings competitions. For example:

  • Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2008 awarded the Ten Years Old expression the title of 2008 World Whisky of the Year and Scotch Single Malt of the Year.[8] The Ten Years Old also won a series of medals at the 2006-2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, winning two gold and six silver medals over that stretch.[9]
  • Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2009 and Whisky Bible 2010 awarded the Uigeadail expression the title of 2009 and 2010 World Whisky of the Year and Scotch Single Malt of the Year. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded the Uigeadail two double gold, three gold, and two silver medals between 2006 and 2012.[10]
  • Ardbeg Galileo won the World's Best Single Malt Whisky in the 2013 World Whiskies Awards.[11]


The distillery output is quite big for a distillery with only two pot stills. The wash still has a capacity of about 18,000 litres and the spirit still of about 17,000 litres.[1] This produces approximately 10,000 barrels (1.4 million liters) of spirit per year.[12] The distillery employs about sixty people and also provides them with dwelling on premises.[13] Since 2018, a new still house is under construction which will double Ardbeg's distilling capacity. [14]

In 2011, 20 vials of Ardbeg spirit and wood particles were sent to the International Space Station to investigate their interaction.[15] They returned on 12 September 2014.[16]


Name Age (Years) ABV.-% Casks
Ardbeg Wee Beastie 5 47,4 Bourbon, Sherry
Ardbeg Ten Years old 10 46
Ardbeg An Oa 46,6 Pedro Ximenez, charred Oak, Bourbon
Ardbeg Uigeadail 54,2
Ardbeg Corryvreckan 57,1
Ardbeg Supernova 53,4
Ardbeg Blaaack 46 Pinot Noir
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Oloroso
Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 2 19 46,2
Ardbeg Scorch Committee Release 51,7 Bourbon
Ardbeg Scorch 46 Bourbon
Arrrrrrrdbeg! 51,8 Rye-Whiskey
Ardbeg 25 Years old 25 46

Cultural references

Ardbeg sign at distillery
Ardbeg sign at distillery

Ardbeg inspired the Finnish composer of contemporary music, Osmo Tapio Räihälä, to write the symphonic poem Ardbeg—The Ultimate Piece For Orchestra (2003); it was recorded by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra on 28 April 2011.[17]

In Rei Hiroe's manga series Black Lagoon, Ardbeg is the favorite whisky of the character Dutch.

See also



  1. ^ a b "Ardbeg". 29 November 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  2. ^ Ardbeg Corryvreckan, official site. Accessed on 21 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Ardbeg web site". Archived from the original on 2009-08-30. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
  4. ^ a b Helen Arthur (2002) [1997]. The single malt companion (in Dutch). Translated by Lisbeth Machielsen. Libero. p. 58. ISBN 978-9057642364.
  5. ^ "Hiram Walker era (under Historical Facts)". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  6. ^ "History — The Glenmorangie Company". Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Ardbeg". Retrieved 2017-12-17.
  8. ^ "Island whisky wins top accolade". BBC News. November 18, 2007. Archived from the original on 20 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  9. ^ " Summary of Ardbeg 10-Year Awards". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  10. ^ " Summary of Ardbeg Uigeadail Awards". Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  11. ^ "Ardbeg Galileo win World's Best Single Malt Whisky Award". Archived from the original on 2013-05-12. Retrieved 2013-05-10.
  12. ^ Amanda. "Ardbeg Distillery | The Untamed Spirit | Wandering Spirits Global". Retrieved 2021-03-08.
  13. ^ Alfred Barnard (14 July 2013). The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom. Aaron Barker Publishing. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-615-85028-3.
  14. ^ Gallagher, Rosemary (19 February 2018). "New still house for Ardbeg as it seals multi-million pound investment to fund big expansion". Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Ardbeg Terpene Extraction - Commercial ISS Research - NanoRacks". Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  16. ^ Ardbeg 'space whisky' back on Earth after flavour experiment BBC', 12 September 2014.
  17. ^ "ABCD 367 Osmo Tapio Raihala: Peat, Smoke & Seaweed Storm". Retrieved 17 May 2018.[permanent dead link]


External links

This page was last edited on 9 June 2021, at 16:29
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