Ardbeg had to build a new pagoda after severe storms left its roof lying in their carpark. To rebuild they asked visitors and locals to donate £1 to write a message on a new tile that was then fitted to the roof of their new pagoda. The unselfish team at Ardbeg then donated all the money to a local Islay charity.
tel - +44 (0)1496 302 244
web - www.ardbeg.com
Tours through Ardbeg Distillery are available Monday to Friday all year round plus weekends during summer. Tours are free but pre-booking is advisable.
Some of the smokiest whiskies in the world are produced at Ardbeg. These are internationally reknowned as some of the best examples of the smoky style. The distillery is situated on the small but productive island of Islay which is the home of smoky whisky in Scotland. Although Ardbeg produce only 1 million litres of whisky a year, they have numerous distillery and independently bottled releases available. Ardbeg is now considered one of the world's most innovative distilleries for not only their whisky, but also for their unique marketing and advertising style. Their website is one of the best distillery sites around and is worth a visit.
Built in 1815, Ardbeg has been closed down on a number of occasions only to be reopened by new owners each time. On the first occasion the distillery was mothballed in 1981. Mothballing is the process whereby a distillery ceases production but everything remains intact, ready to start up again. Small scale production began again in 1989 and stock from the following year can still be found in some of the current release whiskies.
The distillery closed again in July 1996 for a thankfully short time and was re-opened in June 1997 by Glenmorangie PLC, who then proceeded to spend over £1.4 million renovating the distillery back to pristine condition. Glenmorangie PLC was in turn taken over by drinks giant Moet Hennessy shortly thereafter. The distillery continues to grow and will shortly have a new warehouse facility on the island allowing all whisky produced to be stored on the island for the first time in its history. Up to this time some whisky has been matured on mainland Scotland due to lack of space.