The Ardbeg distillery is located next to Port Ellen and known as one of three distilleries called the Kildalton distilleries. Ardbeg is known for its strong peated Whiskies and has been called “the greatest distillery to be found on earth” by Jim Murray.

It was in 1815 that John McDougall took out a license to establish Ardbeg as a limited firm, and since it became a legal distillery, there have been many ups and downs at Ardbeg. The McDougall Clan owned the Ardbeg distilley until 1976, and under their reign they made some of the best whiskies known to the world. The McDougall clans predecessor went by the name, Hiram Walker, who owned Allied Domecq. They made a lot of changes to the distillery including the way they made their whisky.

 It was around the time of the take over, when the changes stated to happen at Ardbeg. Before the floor malting machines would work flat out to produce all the malt needed, but after the takeover, the whisky made in Ardbeg was a lot less peated. After building a great reputation for having such strongly peated whisky, in 1980 the famous old floor maltings were closed altogether and heavily peated malt was brought over from Port Ellen. Between 1981 and 1989 the distillery was closed as there was no need for Ardbeg as Allied Domecq owned Laphroaig, an already highly peated whisky. During the shut down, the distillery suffered and began to decay, which lead to the loss of warehouses 4,5 and 7. This looked like the end of Ardbeg and the brilliant Whiskies they produce, but in 1997 the Ardbeg distillery was bought for £7 Million by Glenmorangie, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. After some restructuring and a paint job, the distillery was up and ready to run once again.

There is much to say about the journey Ardbeg has gone on throughout its distilling life. From its most peated times to its least, Ardbeg has always been in the spot light and known for making some of the best whiskies in the world.