Video: New purpose-built stillhouse unveiled at Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg Distillery has this week revived a great whisky tradition as it opened the doors to a new stillhouse on the shore.
The new stillhouse aims to meet that growing demand among whisky lovers for big, bold, and smoky flavours as it will increase the Distillery’s capacity significantly.
Retaining the committed character of Ardbeg was at the heart of this project. So the new stills were designed to the exact specification as the old ones – right down to the millimetre. In true Ardbeg style, even the things that didn’t matter, mattered. Every nut, bolt and rivet had to be in the right place. Altering the character of the whisky was a risk the Distillery wasn’t prepared to take.
The new building, located right on Ardbeg’s shoreline, is home to two wash stills and two spirit stills, as well as a feature picture window. Here Ardbeggians will soon be able to drink in the breathtaking views over the Atlantic, along with a little Ardbeg.
The launch of a new still comes with a degree of tradition. It’s customary to ‘sweeten’ a still with a handful of botanicals relevant to the spirit. This ritual is seen as a good luck charm among distillers.
In an informal ceremony at the Distillery, distillery manager Colin Gordon had the honour of lowering the peat into the still, lifting it back out before the liquid ran through.
He said: “It’s not often a distillery manager gets to take part in something as special as this. 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.”