Ardbeg produces a range of Islay single malt scotch whisky’s best known for their rich, peated flavours, which have become easily identifiable by their fullness of body and perfect flavour pairings. The distillery has long claimed to be Islay’s smokiest malt whisky, as well as also claiming to be one of Isle of Islay’s sweetest. The combination of rich and sooty smoke paired with a citric sweet core gives it a great flavour balance that is loved by many.
Located in close proximity to both Laphroaig and Lagavulin distilleries; Ardbeg has always produced a sought-after single malt scotch whisky, even though it’s production capacity is half of it’s neighbouring distillers.
The Taste of Ardbeg Whisky
The location of the Ardbeg distillery in the town of Port Ellen, Isle of Islay, Scotland, provides Ardbeg whisky with a heavy peating. The long fermentation process helps to increase the softness and provide a clean, acidic fruitiness, whilst the use of a purifier pipe adds an oily, textural quality to the final product. Additionally, a new and very modern Glenmorangie wood policy has helped to provide further roundness to the overall finish.
The History of Ardbeg and the Ardbeg Distillery
Founded in 1815 by John McDougall; by the end of the 19th century, the Ardbeg distillery was a highly valued fixture on Islay’s south coast, having grown the small distillery site into a small community. The distillery was sold to Glasgow merchant Thomas Buchanan for £1000 although John McDougall’s son continued to manage the operation of the distillery. From the death of John McDougall’s son, Alexander, in 1853, the operation of the distillery was passed to Alexanders sisters.
In 1911, the Ardbeg name and its iconic letter ‘A’ were registered as a trademark. Much time passes with no changes, however, in 1959, minority shares of the distillery are purchased by DCL and Hiram Walker. And in 1974, Ardbeg begins to use peated malt from the nearby town of Port Ellen. Hiram Walker later took full control of the Islay distillery in 1979, buying out DCL’s 50% share, as well as everyone else’s holdings.
In 1981, the distillery stops production for the first time ever, however operation is restarted in 1989 after Ardbeg reopens and joins Laphroaig as part of the Allied Distillers. Though, in 1997 after having closed again the previous year, Ardbeg is brought by Glenmorangie after it cements its reputation as one of the cult single malt whisky’s. To further increase it’s popularity, The Glenmorangie Company opens the Ardbeg visitors’ centre in 1998 allowing enthusiasts to tour the Islay distillery.
In 2000, the now famous Ardbeg 10 Year Old is launched and the Ardbeg Committee is founded to promote the brand worldwide. However, in 2004, both Glenmorangie and Ardbeg are acquired by French fashion label and drinks group, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. In 2018 under the new ownership, plans for a new Stillhouse are submitted, doubling the distilling capacity of the Islay distillery with the addition of two new stills.
Notable Whisky’s from Ardbeg
Ardbeg 10 Year Old Whisky
Winner of the Whisky Bible Awards 2012: Best Single Malt Scotch of the Year, 10 Years and Under, Ardbeg 10 Year Old Whisky is possibly one of the highest quality ‘entry-level’ single malt whisky’s available. Additionally, Ardbeg distillery is one that many Islay whisky connoisseurs would choose as their favourite. Ardbeg 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky offers a phenomenal whisky full of peaty smoke, coastal air and more.
Ardbeg Uigeadail Whisky
The main water source, Loch Uigeadail, is the inspiration for the 2003 bottling under the same name, Ardbeg Uigeadail; which later became Jim Murray’s 2009 World Whisky of the Year, a title which was previously held by Ardbeg Ten Years.
Ardbeg Perpetuum Whisky
Ardbeg Perpetuum Whisky is a bicentenary distillery release whisky that was initially only made available to those part of the distilleries committee. This 2015 release whisky blends old and young whisky matured in both bourbon and sherry casks, producing the classic notes of smoke and sea spray.
Released in 2012, this highly awaited whisky is made up from casks distilled in 1999. May of 1999 casks spent their full maturation term in casks previously holding Marsala wine, imparting sweet and tropical fruit flavours into the whisky. Ardbeg Galileo is in celebration of the well-publicised experiment whereby small quantities of Ardbeg were sent into space in 2011 to see how the effects of zero gravity impacted the maturing process.
Ardbeg 20 Year Old Duncan Taylor Single Cask Whisky
As part of our Ardbeg whisky range we also offer the exclusive Ardbeg 20-Year-Old Duncan Taylor Single Cask Whisky as part of Duncan Taylors distinguished single cask range. Distilled in 1994 and then bottled in 2014 after being perfectly matured in a sherry oak cask, yielding only 91 bottles. Additionally, this exclusive whisky comes beautifully presented in a leather and hardwood case, a truly unique and exclusive whisky.
Buy Ardbeg Whisky Online
Here at The Spirits Embassy we stock a huge range of Ardbeg whisky, from their standard range to their old and rare. If you’re looking to buy Ardbeg whisky online then browse our range below, many of which qualify for free delivery.
The Spirits Embassy has been brought to you by award winning online retailer Single Malts Direct, who have over 15 years experience in carefully selecting the rarest and finest whiskies from every corner of the world. Our online store gives you not only the largest choice in whisky, but gin, rum, vodka and other spirits & liqueurs.