The renaissance of Ardbeg is one of the most pleasing success stories of the Scotch whisky industry in recent times. Ardbeg had enjoyed a very buoyant existence in the 19th century, despite its relative remoteness, as noted by Alfred Barnard when he visited it in 1885. Ardbeg had been mothballed in 1981 and remained so until 1989 when it reopened but by then under the ownership of Allied Distillers. They closed it in 1996 and sold it the following year to Glenmorangie plc. Things then started to happen with the opening of a visitors’ centre in 1998, some deft marketing (including the launch of the Ardbeg Committee in 2000) and the introduction of some imaginative NAS expressions under a captivating new label.
Ardbeg, like Glenmorangie, has continued to flourish under French ownership following the acquisition of both by LVMH in 2004.