ARDBEG ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF A NEW DISTILLERY MANAGER – Scotch Whisky News

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ARDBEG ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF A

NEW DISTILLERY MANAGER

<Ardbeg bids ‘farewell’ to Mickey Heads and extends ‘greetings’ to Colin Gordon>

In October of this year, Mickey Heads, Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager will retire after 13 years at the helm – leaving big boots (as well as casks) to fill at the Islay distillery.

Now Ardbeg is happy to announce the appointment of Mickey’s successor – Colin Gordon – who is joining as Distillery Production Manager. Colin will report into Pete Nelson, Operations Director.

Colin brings a wealth of whisky industry experience from his eight years at Diageo. His substantial knowledge of distillery production has been gained through a number of roles at the company. These include a stint as Site Operations Manager at the Port Ellen Maltings, which provides barley to eight of the 10 Islay distilleries. More recently, Colin was based at the Lagavulin Distillery on Islay as the Distillery Manager.

Colin is joining on 1 October 2020. Meanwhile, although Mickey Heads is leaving his post as Distillery Manager, he has agreed to continue in his role as Chair of the Ardbeg Committee, the worldwide army of Ardbeg fans.

Pete Nelson, Operations Director, said: “We’re delighted Colin is joining to lead the team at the Ardbeg Distillery. His knowledge will help take Ardbeg forward and shape the future of the Distillery. We have lots of exciting new expressions in the pipeline and Colin will play a major role in crafting those.”

Mickey Heads said: “I’ve known Colin for a long time and I can’t think of a more worthy successor. He’s joining a brilliant team whom I know will welcome him warmly and make him feel at home. As I continue as Chair of the Committee – and indeed, as just one of a legion of Ardbeg fans – I look forward to enjoying the fruits of his labours for years to come.”

Colin Gordon said: “Ardbeg is an iconic name in whisky with an immense reputation. I’m absolutely delighted to be joining an experienced team producing such an exceptional dram.

“Ardbeg has built a reputation for producing amazing whiskies with Mickey Heads at the helm. He is a huge name in the industry and will be a very hard act to follow. It’s a privilege to be chosen to take over the reins from him. Islay has been our home for five years and to be given the honour of overseeing the running of Ardbeg is very special indeed. I will do my very best to protect and enhance the reputation of the distillery and ensure it keeps producing the world class spirit of Ardbeg.”

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NOTES: 

Ardbeg:

Ardbeg prides itself on being The Ultimate Islay Malt Whisky.  Established in 1815, Ardbeg is revered by connoisseurs around the world as the peatiest, smokiest and most complex of all the Islay malts.  Despite its smokiness, Ardbeg is renowned for its delicious sweetness, a phenomenon that has affectionately become known as ‘the peaty paradox’.  During the 1980s and 1990s, Ardbeg suffered from an uncertain future and it was not until the brand was purchased by The Glenmorangie Company in 1997 that the Distillery was saved from extinction.  Since then, the Distillery has risen like a phoenix and today Ardbeg is well established as a niche, cult malt, with a passionate following.

Ardbeg Committee:

The legacy of the whisky was safeguarded in 2000 by the formation of the Ardbeg Committee.  The Committee is made up of thousands of Ardbeg followers worldwide who are keen to ensure that “the doors of Ardbeg never close again”.  Today there are more than 100,000 members of the Ardbeg Committee in over 130 countries.  Committee members are regularly consulted on new bottlings and expressions and are offered exclusive Committee bottlings.  Members also receive invitations to special gatherings, tastings and events.  The Committee, chaired by Mickey Heads, is free to join at ardbeg.com.

Awards:

Ardbeg is the world’s most highly awarded smoky single malt whisky.  Since 2008, Ardbeg has won more than 50 gold and double gold medals in key whisky competitions.  Ardbeg was voted ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’ twice by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible (2008, 2009) and has twice been awarded ‘World’s Best Single Malt’ at the World Whiskies Awards (2010, 2013).  At the 2014 Global Icons of Whisky Awards, Mickey Heads was voted ‘Distillery Manager of the Year’.  The following year, Ardbeg’s expressions took the top three spots in Whisky Advocate magazine’s review of the best single malt Scotch whiskies under US$100.  Meanwhile, both Ardbeg Corryvreckan and Ardbeg Uigeadail have been awarded gold medals at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In 2019, Dr Bill Lumsden was awarded Master Distiller of the Year for the third time in four years. Ardbeg 10 Years Old also won the Best Single Malt Scotch 10 Year Old at the International Whisky Competition 2019, while the Ardbeg Distillery won the Distillery of the Year 2019. In 2020, the International Whisky Competition awarded Ardbeg Corryvreckan first place for Best Single Malt Scotch, Best Single Malt Scotch (No Age Statement), Best cask Strength (Over 57% ABV), Best Peated Scotch and Best Islay Single Malt. Ardbeg Wee Beastie also earned first place for Best Single Malt Scotch Under 10 Year Old and The Ardbeg Distillery achieved another Distillery of the Year award.

The Glenmorangie Company:

The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers and marketers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.  Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the Company produces Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt.

Responsible Drinking:

Ardbeg and The Glenmorangie Company advocate responsible drinking and suggest that drinkers savour Ardbeg whiskies in moderation and in line with recommended daily guidelines for alcohol consumption.

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