Ardbeg Distillery (Source:, Attribution: Rappilio)

Ardbeg Distillery (Source:, Attribution: Rappilio)

Ardbeg Logo





Region: Islay
Founded: 1815
Status: Active
Owner: The Glenmorangie Co (Moët Hennessy)

1815: John MacDougall founds Ardbeg. Ardbeg {ard-BEG} is Gaelic for “small headland”.

1838: Thomas Buchanan, a Glasgow spirit merchant, buys the distillery for £1,800. John MacDougall’s son Alexander remains in charge of the daily business.

1853: John MacDougall dies and his sisters Margaret and Flora MacDougall, supported by Colin Hay, take over the operations. Colin Hay becomes the sole licence holder of the distillery after the death of the sisters.

1899: Colin Hay dies and his son Colin Elliot Hay takes over the licence.

1911: Ardbeg, including their trademark letter ‘A’, is registered as a trademark.

1959: Ardbeg Distillery Limited is founded.

1974: Ardbeg Distillery Trust, formed by Hiram Walker and Distillers Company Limited (DCL), buys the distillery for £300,000.

1977: Hiram Walker becomes the sole owner of Ardbeg.

1981: The distillery is closed.

1987: Allied Lyons becomes the new owner of Ardbeg through the acquisition of Hiram Walker.

1989: Production resumes on a limited basis without own maltings. All malt is taken from Port Ellen now.

1996: Ardbeg closes again and is put up for sale.

1997: Glenmorangie PLC takes over the financial trouble distillery for £7 millions.

1998: A new visitor center opens.

2000: Ardbeg 10 Years Old is released as the flagship expression of the distillery. The distillery’s fan club, called Ardbeg Committee, is founded.

2004: The French luxury company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) buys Glenmorangie PLC (including Glenmorangie, Ardbeg and Glen Moray) for £300 million.

2007: Islay native and former manager at Jura Michael ‘Mickey’ Heads becomes the 17th manager of the distillery.


Tasting Notes



All other brand names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are used for descriptive purposes only.


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