Ardbeg, Islay

History of Ardbeg whisky distillery

Ardbeg Distillery is on the south coast of the isle of Islay, Scotland. The name Ardbeg is an anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic An Àird Bheag, meaning "The Small Promontory".

The Ardbeg distillery has been producing whisky since 1798, and began commercial production in 1815. Like most Scottish distilleries, for most of its history, its whisky was produced for use in blended whisky, rather than as a single malt scotch. By 1886 the distillery produced 300,000 gallons of whisky per year, and employed 60 workers. 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. In 1997 the distillery was bought and reopened by Glenmorangie plc with production resuming on June 25, 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.

Whisky from Ardbeg

The distillery output is quite big for a distillery with only two pot stills. The wash still has a capacity of about 18,000 liters and the spirit still of about 17,000 litres. Currently a new still house is under construction which will double Ardbeg's distilling capacity. Ardbeg is one of the only Scottish distilleries who use a purifier, which leads to a smoother spirit.

Ardbeg's distillery character is a complex balance between a smooth bodied whisky that carries high ABVs well, and then layers of big bold flavours - of which a heavy peat note is a typical characteristic.

Buy a cask of Ardbeg whisky

The Single Cask has some great Ardbeg casks in our warehouses.  If you're interested in buying a cask of Ardbeg, please contact us today for a free, no obligation quote.  We can also offer a range of bottling services, making the whole process of creating your very own whisky easy.

Sell a cask of Ardbeg whisky

The Single Cask has a great history of buying and bottling single cask Ardbeg whisky.  Often we buy our casks direct from the distillery, but we are also pleased to buy Ardbeg casks from private individuals.  If you have a Ardbeg cask that you're looking to sell, please contact us today for a free, no obligation, quote on how much we could pay you for your cask.

Ardbeg distillery details

Address: Ardbeg Distillery, Port Ellen, Kennacraig, Isle of Islay, PA42 7EA

Website: www.ardbeg.com

Telephone number: +44 1496 302244