Follow your nose along the famous road from Port Ellen and you will eventually come to the most welcoming distillery on the island. Ardbeg's white-washed walls can be found nestling in a rocky cove on Islay's southern tip. Located on the rugged shores of Islay, Ardbeg Distillery is revered by whisky connoisseurs the world over.
Who would believe that back in 1981, the distillery fell silent and was mothballed, with only very small scale distilling resuming in 1989. Between 1990 and 1996, it opened and closed with monotonous regularity, before finally closing, seemingly for good, in 1996. Fortunately in 1997, to the delight of fans all over the world Glenmorangie plc rescued Ardbeg and a team of dedicated souls set about repairing and reviving the distillery (not to mention repainting it!).
Now, once again Ardbeg flows freely. And in the Old Kiln Cafe you can enjoy a dram and Mary's celebrated home-cooking. You can also tour the place with the distillery folk and pick up a bottle or two from the Old Kiln Shop. So do visit - we'd love to see you.
The south coast of Islay, Ardbeg Distillery was established by local farmers and distiller John MacDougall, beginning commercial production in 1815. Today it is one of the island’s fastest growing distilleries and prides itself upon using entirely traditional methods of production. Using malted barley sourced from the maltings at Port Ellen, Ardbeg claims to produce the peatiest whisky in Islay. Boasting several official bottlings, Ardbeg has garnered an array of accolades in recent years from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and at international spirit ratings competitions. A range of excellent tours are available along with tastings in the visitor centre. The Old Kiln Café is also open from Monday to Friday and serves superb food. The shop offers a fine selection of Ardberg whiskies and other local products.
By Car Ferry
Caledonian MacBrayne run the ferry between Kennacraig on the mainland and Port Ellen/Port Askaig on Islay. Normally 3 sailings daily, except Wednesdays and Sundays. Time: 2 hours. Coach services operate from Glasgow to Kennacraig.
Loganair fly from Glasgow to Islay twice daily. Time: 30 mins. The little plane flies over Arran, the Mull of Kintyre and the Kildalton Distilleries before landing right beside the beach.