Ardbeg, renowned for producing smoke of the smokiest whiskies ever made has a cult following like no other distillery in the world. The distillery was set up in 1815 and has had rather a chequered history for a distillery of its might – mothballed seven times and change of ownership eight times.
From the verge of being demolished, until Glenmorangie bought the distillery in 1997 to becoming the first distillery ever to send whisky into space for maturation, Ardbeg has risen like a phoenix.
And now to its cult following!
Ardbeg unlike its Islay neighbours – Lagavulin , Laphroaig and Caol Ila isn’t a go to dram for most Indian peatheads. However, for those who have experienced this “untamed spirit of Islay”, they won’t swap their Ardbeg for any other dram.
We experienced Ardbeg’s cult status first hand at our recent tasting – where amidst a stellar line up from Islay, the most sought after dram was the Ardbeg 10. While few of our guests were wowed by the sherry notes of Bowmore 18 and the fruity & smoky notes of Bunnahabhain Toiteach, it was the Ardbeg 10 which was the outright star of the show or shall we say the “supernova” of the night !