Ardbeg Distillery has announced a new purpose-built stillhouse that significantly increases the company’s whisky production.
This new addition comes as demand for premium Scotch like Ardbeg rises with the global brown spirits boom.
To retain the trademark character of Ardbeg — smoky, peaty Isle flavors — the new stills took the exact specifications as the old ones, down to the millimeter.
The new building, located along Ardbeg’s shoreline, houses two wash stills and two spirit stills.
The launch of a still comes with a degree of tradition. It’s customary to “sweeten” a still with a handful of botanicals relevant to the spirit, the company says. This ritual is seen as a good luck charm among distillers. At Ardbeg, they used heather, peat and seaweed.
In an informal ceremony at the distillery, Distillery Manager Colin Gordon had the honor of lowering the peat into the still, the company says, lifting it back out before the liquid ran through. “It’s not often a distillery manager gets to take part in something as special as this,” Gordon says. “I’m privileged to be here for it. We’ve really retained the soul of Ardbeg with this new stillhouse. We hope now there’ll be more of our ultimate Islay malt to go around.”