Whisky Tour – Ardbeg Distillery

Third stop (and 2nd tour) on Islay – Ardbeg distillery. I enjoy their Ardbeg 10 and Uigeadail whiskies a lot, have a couple of their bottles at home and was very happy to finally arrive there and tour the distillery.

ardbeg

But first stop at Old Kiln Cafe – the famous Distillery cafe residing in the old Ardbeg Kiln house for some recovery and stomach lining and then to very crowded tour (good thing I pre-booked it!).

The tour was great and our guide was fantastic – full of knowledge, tidbits, anecdotes and jokes, making it a very entertaining an funny tour.

SAMSUNG

I’ll spare you the regular tour stuff about distillation steps and instead, take a few pictures (captions included):

Lorry outside receiving used barley after mash tun. it's hot stuff!

Lorry outside receiving used barley after mash tun. it’s hot stuff!

Barrels filling station

Barrels filling station

Barrels painting and stamping tools

Barrels painting and stamping tools

Fresh painted and stamped barrel

Fresh painted and stamped barrel

Sea view from Ardbeg Stillhouse

Sea view from Ardbeg Stillhouse

Twilight time just as the tour ends

Twilight time just as the tour ends

After the great tour, we went back to the Visitors Center/Coffee to have a closing dram. We got snuck into a ‘secret room’ (also known as the back room) for tasting. The room itself is small and the display wall is magnificent: 

Full modern Ardbeg collection on display. Amazing.

We then could choose between a couple of drams (All of the OB standard bottlings) and I went for Ardbeg Blasda (first time!), their less peated whisky.

And so ended our first day on Islay – we went to look for our B&B and crash down after a day that started with 5am wake up call and prepare for the next day on Islay.

Distillery In a nutshell

Name: Ardbeg
Owners: LVMH group
Location: Port Ellen, Islay
Water source: Loch Arinambeast & Loch Uigedale
Stills: 1 Wash still, 1 Spirit still
Capacity (yearly): 1,100,000 liter

Tour in a nutshell

Tours availability: Winter: at 15:30, Otherwise: 12:00 & 15:30
Cost of tour: £5
Length of tour: 1 hour
Distillery Exclusive bottles: None
Food: Old Kiln Cafe

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