Ardbeg was established in 1815 and by 1887 it was one of the most productive distilleries on Islay. In 1981 it closed. It then reopened only to close again a few years later until it was reopened by the Glenmorangie Company . They’ve now taken the prudent step of forming the Ardbeg Committee dedicated to making sure it never closes again!
Glenmorangie once owned Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin. Around 2005 a distillery worker was vatting some very old Ardbeg single malt ready for bottling. However, they opened the wrong door and Glen Moray 12 year old whisky was delivered into the mix. On the face of it an expensive mistake however not wanting to miss an opportunity, the distillery turned the bottling into a limited edition called Serendipity. Arbeg is a peated whisky and Glen Moray 12 year old an unpeated Speyside malt.
Committee members were offered a bottle provided they signed the following:
Ardbeg’s creative side was seen again when it took part in an experiment on the space station. The study aimed to discover more about maturation by studying the interaction between Ardbeg whisky molecules and charred oak, both in space and under normal gravity conditions (in Ardbeg’s Warehouse 3).
Ardbeg Distillery Tours
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Ardbeg offered a range of tours and tastings. The hour long Ardbeg Distillery Tour & Taste was designed to be an informative introduction to Ardbeg with a choice of dram from the core range at the end.
Look out for more in depth tasting experiences including The Old, Mature and Unusual Tasting (£75). Consisting of Ardbeg 22 Year and 23 Years Old, Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old, plus a Single Cask bottling, and distillery only cask sample.
Ardbeg Distillery is one of a collection of Islay distilleries offfering tours and tastings. These include Bowmore, Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Kilchoman distilleries. See the Islay Whisky Tour page for more itinerary ideas and Islay Distillery Map.
As with any holiday, planning is key to making the most of your trip. Whisky Tour planning tools on whiskytourer.com include an interactive Scottish Distillery Map and a route guide.