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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Islay Region Distillery Information

Ardbeg Distillery,

Port Ellen,



PA42 7EA.

Tel: +44 (0) 1496 302244

Please Confirm with the distillery before travelling.

Visitor opening times are:



open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm.



open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm.

Pre-booking for tours is advisable. Please note that the Distillery closes during the Christmas holiday period.

Officially founded in 1815.

Location Islay South shore region.

Water Source Loch Uigeadail


Ardbeg  Distillery Equipment

Stainless steel semi-lauter Mash Tun,

6 Washbacks  3 Being the original Larch the other 3  Oregon Pine.

2 large pot stills. Low wines and Spirit stills both the same large “Waisted” size,  with outside condensers, The spirit still is fitted with a purifier that channels the heavier spirit from the lyne arm back into the still for further distilation.

The spirit safe comes from Archibald McMillian of Edinburgh


Matured in American oak ex bourbon casks with some ex sherry butts

reserved for special bottlings.

Ardbeg Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes


Nose : Thick with Tar, smoke and seaweed.


Palate : Full bodied. Sweet, oily and smoky with a hint of citrus and spice.


Finish :    Long and smoky.

Ardbeg Whisky Review Ardbeg Vintage Notes BUY WHISKY NOW IY-Ardbeg-logo Ardbeg Whisky Review Ardbeg Vintage Notes

Ardbeg Malt Whisky Distillery History

One of the original Kildalton distilleries, situated on the southern shore of the island.


The present distillery was built on the site of an illicit distillery, of which there were many in the area, in 1815. Ardbeg, unlike its neighbours Laphroaig and Lagavulin, has not enjoyed the same uninterrupted period of production since its opening.


In fact between 1981 and 1989 it was famously closed, whilst the then owners Allied distillers decided what to do with the distillery. It was re-opened in 1990 but only operated up to 6 weeks of the year from 1991 until 1996 when the distillery closed again...for good.


In 1997 the Glenmorangie company bought the distillery and all its stock, re-starting distillation in earnest in 1998, bringing much needed stability and expertise in maturation particularly. In effect they had resurrected a slumbering beast.


One of, if not the most, heavily peated malts from anywhere in Scotland, Ardbeg's pure spring water comes from Loch Uigeadail (the dark, mysterious place in Gaelic) via another loch called Airigh Nam Beist (shelter of the beast).


Ardbeg's 'house style' when young is all about warming peat smoke, smoked fish, seaweed with a balancing citrus sweetness, whilst the older bottlings take on more rich spices such as cinnamon and aniseed which integrate very well with the peat. For a 'younger' experience try Ardbeg 'Almost There' and for an older, more mature expression try Airigh Nam Beist 1990 or Lord of The Isles.

One of the most sought after malts by both collectors and drinkers, Ardbeg is commonly awarded the highest critical acclaim.'


Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery Bottlings

10 year Old



Supernova (The third Best Whisky in the World Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2010)



Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky  Older Distillery Bottlings

Very Young

Still Young

Almost There

10 Year Old (Glenmorangie ownership)



1990 Airgh Nam Beist




10 Year Old (Previous owners distillation)

17 Year Old

21 Year Old

Guaranteed 30 Year Old

Committee Reserve

Kildalton 1980

Lord of the Isles

Vintage  1965, 1975,1977, 1978

Provenance (1974 Vintage)

Single cask vintages 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976,1977, 1978, 1992, 1995, 1998,

Single cask 2000 Lord Robertson of Port Ellen


Ardbeg Single Malt Scotch Whisky Independent Bottlings




Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail),

Creative Whisky Co

Duncan Taylor Collection

Hart Brothers

Mackillop's Choice

Murray McDavid,

Platinum Old & Rare (Douglas Laing)

Provenance (Douglas Laing)

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Old & Rare

Scott's Selection


Whisky Fair (Germany)

Image Key

#-Older Discontinued Style Bottlings

*- Limited Editions

^- Independent Bottlings