Distillery of the Year title is heading to Islay

Ardbeg whisky on the remote island of Islay, has been hailed as Distillery of the Year at a renowned industry competition.

The Islay distillery scooped the International Whisky Competition (IWC) award for a second year running, as the head judge declared the Distillery ‘a must for visitors’.

Visitors are being offered the chance to experience the distillery in full, with a variety of tours.

Ardbeg has been rooted on Islay for more than 200 years. With its rugged beauty and reputation for whisky, the island attracts thousands of visitors each year.

IWC head judge Sebastien Gavillet said: ‘Ardbeg delivers one of the most exciting and passionate tours in the industry, making it a must for visitors.’

Distillery Manager Mickey Heads said: ‘We’re delighted to win ‘Distillery of the Year’ at the IWC. We hope this prestigious award will give visitors yet another reason to come to Ardbeg – and even stay a night or two at Seaview Cottage. Whether they’re already fans, or just learning about Ardbeg, we’re sure they’ll love our untamed whisky as much as the experts do.’

There are a multitude of ways for visitors to explore the Distillery’s award-winning craft – and taste its acclaimed whiskie, led by the smoky, sweet and rounded Ardbeg An Oa, they won five categories at the IWC.

For the ultimate Ardbeggian experience, guests can spend a few nights at Seaview Cottage, once home to the distillery manager. Nestled at the heart of the Distillery’s whitewashed walls and pagoda roofs, with an aspect as spectacular as its name suggests, the cottage offers visitors the rare chance to discover life at the Ardbeg first hand.

For those planning a day trip there are tours to suit all inclinations. They range from Distillery discoveries with a dram, to warehouse tastings of unusual samples, intimate single cask dinners, or even a hike over Islay’s peat-filled hills, with an outdoor tasting and a picnic lunch.

Tours run between February and mid-December. For more details go to www.ardbeg.com