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Ardbeg

Ardbeg lies solitary, in a small cove off the south coast of Islay. It was once a stage for illegal distillation, when smugglers took advantage of the remote location and exceptional conditions for whisky production. Eventually, excise men seized the original, illegitimate buildings from the smugglers and destroyed them. It was not until 1815 that a legal distillery was established and founded by John McDougall. Sitting nearby leviathan distilleries; Laphroaig and Lagavulin, Ardbeg has always produced a very sought-after single malt, despite its production scale being less than half that of its neighbours.

After running into some financial difficulties the distillery closed in 1981 and it was not until 1989 that distillation resumed, although on a very small scale. After closing again in 1996, then owners, Allied Domecq, put the distillery up for sale. It was bought in 1997 by Glenmorangie Co and was, at last, restored to its former grandeur. Its chief watersource, Loch Uigeadail, or ‘dark and mysterious place’ in Gaelic, became the inspiration for a bottling launched in 2003 under the same name. Ardbeg Uigeadail was later Jim Murray’s 2009 World Whisky of the Year, a title held previously by Ardbeg’s ten year-old. Ardbeg has become known for its rich, peated whiskies, very easily identifiable by their fullness of body and perfect harmony of flavour.

Ardbeg Whisky Distillery

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About Ardbeg Whisky Distillery

Distillery Number

01496 302244

Distillery Capacity

1 000 000 litres

Distillery Founded

1815

Distillery Status

Active

Distillery Address

Near Port Ellen, Islay, Argyll

Distillery Owner

The Glenmorangie Co (Moët Hennessy)

Distillery Website

www.ardbeg.com

1794

First record of a distillery at Ardbeg. It was founded by Alexander Stewart.

1798

The MacDougalls, later to become licensees of Ardbeg, are active on the site through Duncan MacDougall.

1815

The current distillery is founded by John MacDougall, son of Duncan MacDougall.

1853

Alexander MacDougall, John’s son, dies and sisters Margaret and Flora MacDougall, assisted by Colin Hay, continue the running of the distillery. Colin Hay takes over the licence when the sisters die.

1888

Colin Elliot Hay and Alexander Wilson Gray Buchanan renew their license.

1900

Colin Hay’s son takes over the license.

1959

Ardbeg Distillery Ltd is founded.

1973

Hiram Walker and Distillers Company Ltd jointly purchase the distillery for £300 000

1974

Widely considered as the last vintage of ‘old, peaty’ Ardbeg. Malt which has not been produced in the distillery´s own maltings is used in increasingly larger shares after this year.

1977

Hiram Walker assumes single control of the distillery. Ardbeg closes its maltings.

1979

Kildalton, a less peated malt, is produced over a number of years.

1981

The distillery closes in March.

1987

Allied Lyons takes over Hiram Walker and thereby Ardbeg.

1989

Production is restored with Iain Henderson as Manager. All malt is taken from Port Ellen.

1996

The distillery closes in July and Allied Distillers decides to put it up for sale during the autumn.

1997

Glenmorangie plc buys the distillery for £7 million (whereof £5.5 million is for whisky in storage). On stream from 25th June. Ardbeg 17 years old and Provenance are launched

1998

A new visitor centre opens.

2000

Ardbeg 10 years is introduced. The Ardbeg Committee (a worldwide forum for Ardbeg fans) is launched and has 30 000 members after a few years.

2001

Lord of the Isles 25 years and Ardbeg 1977 are launched.

2002

Ardbeg Committee Reserve and Ardbeg 1974 are launched.

2003

Uigeadail is launched.

2004

Very Young Ardbeg (6 years) and a limited edition of Ardbeg Kildalton (1300 bottles) are launched. The latter is a non-peated cask strength from 1980.

2005

Serendipity is launched.

2006

Ardbeg 1965 and Still Young are launched. Distillery Manager Stuart Thomson leaves Ardbeg after nine years. Almost There (9 years old) and Airigh Nam Beist are released.

2007

Michael Heads becomes the new distillery manager. Ardbeg Mor, a 10 year old in 4.5 litre bottles is released.

2008

The new 10 year old, Corryvreckan, Rennaisance, Blasda and Mor II are released.

Reproduced from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2009 with the kind permission of Mr Ingvar Ronde

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Ardbeg 10 Year Old
(70cl, 46%)
Jim Murray's 2008 World Whisky of the Year! When Ardbeg 10 was released it was the first expression from the distillery not to be chill-filtered. It's a true classic from Islay, and a must have for...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$60.34
Few distilleries are as sought after as Islay's Ardbeg. Sestante meanwhile, are a celebrated independent bottling brand of real note who are no longer operating. What then, would it take to top a rare...  More info
$1652.41
Ardbeg 17 Year Old
(70cl, 40%)
Increasingly rare, now discontinued whisky from Ardbeg. Incredibly rich and powerful, and all too easy to drink.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$731.94
Distilled in 1974 and bottled in November 1997, just after the Ardbeg distillery was bought by Glenmorangie, the Ardbeg Provenance is a legendary bottling of 23 year old single malt Scotch whisky...  More info
$3603.83
A 21 year old Ardbeg distilled in 1974 and bottled in 1996 (only full years are counted) by the renowned Italian independent bottlers Sestante at 40% abv. This is a rare and valuable single malt...  More info
$1374.60
Hold the phone, is this an independently bottled, single cask 23 year old Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky?! By Jove it is! A very exciting dram from one of the most renowned distilleries on Islay...  More info
$853.31
The Committee Release of Ardbeg Alligator, so named for the barrels it was aged in; the American oak casks were given such an intense char, the resulting charcoal surface resembled alligator skin!...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$556.92
Ardbeg Blasda
(70cl, 40%)
Blasda represents a rare chance to sample a lightly-peated dram from the powerhouse Ardbeg distillery. The malt is peated at 8ppm as opposed to the standard 24ppm.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$281.12
Ardbeg Corryvreckan
(70cl, 57.10%)
Malt Advocate's Top Whisky of the Year for 2009!

This is one of the legendary Islay malts. We loved the Committee release and we weren't disappointed with this incredible dram. This was released to...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$98.37
Ardbeg Uigeadail
(70cl, 54.20%)
Uigeadail derives from the Scotch Gaelic for 'Dark and Mysterious Place' and is named for the Loch from whence Ardbeg draws its waters. Jim Murray's 2009 World Whisky of the Year, this cask-strength...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$81.86
This is the second batch of Elements of Islay bottled Ar (who knows which Islay distillery Ar could refer to?!) Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this 90 points! This is a cask strength single malt...  More info
This whisky hails from the illustrious Islay distillery of Ardbeg - that sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Ardbeg sits on the island’s Southern coast and produces its highly peated malt whisky. Ardbeg closed in July 1996, thankfully the distillery was bought by Glenmorangie plc in 1997 and the distillery...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
This is the stunning Batch 3 of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Ardbeg - it's a superb little whisky which flaunts the beautiful house style with more than a hint of sweet sherry too.

The label...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
What many of you have been waiting for - a new batch of Ardbeg from That Boutique-y Whisky Company!!!

Geert Bero, the world's most famous Ardbeg collector and proprietor of the legendary Ardbeg Bar...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Ardbeg 10 Year Old remains a staple favourite of peat-lovers the world over, and with just one sip it’s easy to see why! Vanilla and citrus fruits underpinned with an Incredible Hulk of peat, this is...  More info
$93.01
A stunning Ardbeg, the likes of which have never been seen before. This was distilled in March 1991, and bottled in October 2008. There are just 316 bottles, at the strength of 50% (for added...  More info
A super limited release of independently bottled Ardbeg! There are just 306 bottles of this stuff, bottled at natural cask strength in 2011 at the Bruichladdich distillery after 17 years in a single...  More info
Ardbeg changed hands between 1996 and 1997, since then the distillery has only released a Ten Year Old with an age statement. So it is pretty darn exciting *massively massively exciting* to get to try...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Distilled at Ardbeg in March 1991 and matured for 18 years before bottling in August 2009. A release of 208 bottles, bottled by Douglas Laing.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
An 18 year old single cask Ardbeg, this was matured in a refill hogshead, distilled in March 1991 and bottled in September 2009 by Douglas Laing with an outturn of 316 bottles.  More info
A single cask, independent bottling of Ardbeg, likely to sell out before I finish typing this sentence! It was distilled in 1993 and aged for 18 years in a bourbon cask before bottling at the...  More info
This was distilled at the Ardbeg distillery in 1974 and it was bottled especially for Speymalt Whisky's Spirit of Scotland range. A very rare and collectible bottling from the legendary Islay...  More info
$1033.76
These mid-1990s Connoisseur's Choice bottlings of mid-70s Ardbegs have become legendary, and this is a truly stunning example we don't expect to hang around very long...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$836.95
Ardbeg 1974 Provenance
(70cl, 55.60%)
An incredibly rare, highly collectible and rather legendary bottle of vintage Ardbeg, bottled at natural cask strength. Distilled in 1974, Serge from WhiskyFun.com awarded this an astonishing 95...  More info
$2661.31
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