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For over 200 years, Ardbeg has been made on the small, remote Scottish Isle of Islay. Ardbeg has been called “as close to perfection as makes no difference,” by whisky connoisseurs. Proof then, that Ardbeg truly deserves its incredible reputation. It’s a whisky that’s worshipped around the world. In the past ten years, six different Ardbeg expressions have won prestigious titles including World Whisky of the Year, Scotch Whisky of the Year, and World’s Best Single Malt. From the traditional and authentic Isle of Islay to the world, Ardbeg has perpetuated a pure tradition of the finest whisky that pleases fans all over the world.


The Story Of Ardbeg Started In 1815

All great stories have a beginning. Arbeg opened for business in 1815 as John MacDougall takes out a license, establishing Ardbeg distillery as a legitimate commercial concern. The reason for its success was tied to the growing popularity of blends and the need for most to have some smoke running through them. The distillery went over the years across many episodes and made it until today and for many years still.

Ardbeg Distillery in 1815

Here are some interesting historic milestones:

  •  1815 – John MacDougall founded Ardbeg
  • 1838 – Thomas Buchanan, a Glasgow spirit merchant buys the distillery. Macdougall’s family continues to manage operations.
  • 1853 – John Macdougall passes away, Ardbeg is co-run by Colin Hay and Macdougall’s sisters, Margaret and Flora, who may rightfully be Scotland’s first female distillers.
  • 1887 – Ardbeg distillery is recorded to produce 1.1Million litres a year
  • 1911 – Ardbeg is registered as a trademark. The distinctive “A” letter is also protected
  • 1998 – Ardbeg is voted Distillery of the Year
  • 1999 – Production reaches 600’000 litres
  • 2000 – Ardbeg 10 Years Old launched and the Ardbeg
  • 2001 – Ardbeg Lord of the Isles is launched
  • 2002 – The Distillery is named as a 4 star visitor attraction by The Scottish Tourist Board. 
  • 2003 – Ardbeg Uigeadail is release
  • 2005 – Ardbeg is established as part of the House of Glenmorangie within Moet Hennessy/LVMH
    Production reaches 1 million litres
  • 2006 – Several launches marks this year with golden letters: Ardbeg Still Young, Ardbeg 1965, Ardbeg Airigh Nam Beist
  • 2007 – Michael Heads becomes Ardbeg’s 20th Manager and Chairman of the Ardbeg committee
  • 2008 – Ardbeg Ten Years Old wins World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s 2008 bible.
  • 2009 – Ardbeg Uigeadail scoops the World Whisky of the Year
  • 2010 – Tripple win: Ardbeg Supernova is awarded Scotch Whisky of the Year, Ardbeg Corryvreckan wins World’s Best Single Malt Whisky and Single Malt of the Year.
  • 2011 – Ardbeg conducts the first whisky experiment in space on the International Space Station
  • 2012 – Celebrating one year of space experiments, Ardbeg launches Ardbeg Galileo and sells out 60’000 bottles within 48H.
  • 2015 – Ardbeg celebrates its 200th anniversary with the launch of Ardbeg Perpetuum.

The Ardbeg Committee – 20 years of passion and know-how

After more than a century, Ardbeg decided in 2000 to create the Ardbeg Committee. This Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers around the world who want to perpetuate the heritage of such an amazing brand and that “the doors of the Ardbeg distillery never to close again”. Today, twenty years later, the Ardbeg committee has more than 100’000 members in over 130 countries.

Committee members are regularly consulted on new projects and expressions. They are also offered exclusive offers from the very best that Ardbeg has. Members shall also receive invitations for gatherings, whisky tasting, and special events. You can join the Committee, headed by Mickey Heads the Chairman, on the company website:

Absolutely the best committee I’ve ever sat on and the only one that meets at midnight beside a Celtic Cross.” Dr. David Wishart, Scotland

No matter how near or far, the Committee members share a common purpose; to celebrate the reawakening of Ardbeg, spread the word, and dispense drams to those deprived of knowledge of this untamed spirit.

This year as for the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee, the Scotch Whisky brand launched Ardbeg Blaaack, a special edition that will for sure please the fans. A velvety and surprisingly mellow feeling takes your palate into a complex symphony of contrasting flavors. Anise, soot, and summer fruits – such as cherries, strawberries, apricots, and pears – give way to buttery pastry, dark chocolate, coffee, and almonds. All the structure wrapped in an always surprising and exciting smokey Ardbeg Aura. For this special occasion, the brand will organize a virtual gathering that fans will be able to join online. The appointment is taken on May 30th at 19h00 UK time.


Ardbeg is the most awarded single smoked whisky in the world. Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in major whisky competitions. Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible consumption and suggest that consumers enjoy Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in accordance with the daily recommendations for alcohol consumption.

José Amorim
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