Ardbeg

Ardbeg
Ardbeg
Ardbeg

Ardbeg Ardbeg

Few distilleries inspire as much passion as the House of Ardbeg. The unique flavor of its peaty, smoky and surprisingly sweet single malt evokes the wild moors of its home island of Islay.

Creation date: 1815
President & CEO: Thomas Moradpour
Head office: The Glenmorangie Company, The Cube, 45 Leith St, Edinburgh, EH1 3AT - Scotland
Website: www.ardbeg.com

Identity

Established in 1815, Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky. And while it is one of the smokiest Islay whiskies, Ardbeg is also renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future, and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction. Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee, made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers, keen to ensure “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”. Today there are more than 150,000 members in over 130 countries.

Ardbeg is loved not only by its fans, but also by the experts, who have made it the world’s most highly awarded smoky single malt whisky. The brand’s numerous accolades include winning World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards twice, the International Whisky Competition Distillery of the Year Award two years running, and the competition’s World Whisky of the Year for Ardbeg Uigeadail.

 

Ardbeg - The Ultimate Islay Malt, 10 years old © Ardbeg

Icon

Ardbeg’s untamed island home of Islay, has an abundance of soft water, fertile soil and precious peat – making it a prolific producer of distinctive, world-famous whiskies. The Ardbeg Distillery perches on its wild south coast. Islay is a land steeped in history. Celtic monks, raiding Norsemen and 19th-century smugglers have all played their part in Ardbeg’s story. Islay’s dramatic past lives in the brand to this day.

Ardbeg Distillery, Islay © Ardbeg

Insights

Colin Gordon, Ardbeg Distillery Manager © Ardbeg

“Ardbeg is the most incredible Distillery, and the whisky is but one important element of its magic. Stand on the pier with a dram of Ardbeg in hand, and take in the sea air – you’ll know you are in a very special place.”

Inspiration

Ardbeg is known as the “ultimate Islay malt”. Of all the Islay malt distilleries, it is Ardbeg that most encapsulates the natural aromas, tastes and the “feel” of Islay. The smell of heather-clad peat bogs, tarry rope, smoky bonfires and Atlantic winds full of salty sea spray can all be discovered in a glass of Ardbeg. Ardbeg’s dark and irreverent personality encapsulates the long history of the distillery, its Scottish provenance and the wildness of Islay.

Ardbeg’s creativity is born of these rich Islay cues and is expressed through a unique “Ardbeggian” attitude and a level of passion instilled in its fans, rare with other malt whisky brands. Every May sees the celebration of “Ardbeg Day” around the world, inspired by Islay’s Feis Ile Festival. This annual event offers fans globally the chance to join together at Committee events and celebrations, from the Islay-lympics in 2012 to the Ardbeg “Peat Football” World Cup in 2014.

 

Islay landscape © Ardbeg
Islay landscape © Ardbeg

Outlook

In October 2011, Ardbeg made history as the first whisky maturation experimentation in space. In 2014, just under three years later, a historic sample of Ardbeg spirit returned to Earth after orbiting the Earth’s atmosphere onboard the International Space Station.

Contained in a vial specially designed for its off-planet mission, this unique spirit has been part of a pioneering research experiment aiming to discover the impact gravity has on the whisky maturation process. At the same time an identical vial was housed in Warehouse 3 at the Ardbeg Distillery on Islay to act as a control sample.

It is the first study of its kind and the two samples have been reunited in a laboratory in Houston, Texas for an experiment researchers believe could change the future of whisky production.

 

 

Key figures

  • 55 PPM (PARTS PER MILLION) OF PEAT IN ARDBEG TEN YEARS OLD
  • 150,000+ FANS ON THE ARDBEG COMMITTEE
  • 4 COPPER STILLS