Ardnahoe Distillery logo with mountain and waves design

Ardnahoe Distillery

  • Scotland, UK
  • Five Star Grading from Visit Scotland
Phone Number
  • +441496840777
  • Ardnahoe, Port Askaig, Isle of Islay PA46 7RU, United Kingdom

Ardnahoe Distillery

History of Ardnahoe Distillery

Establishment and Founding

The Ardnahoe Distillery, a distinguished addition to the Islay whisky scene, began its journey in 2018. This modern distillery was established by the Laing family, prominent figures in the Scotch whisky industry. Their venture into the creation of Ardnahoe Distillery marked a significant milestone, as it became one of Islay’s newest distilleries, enriching the island’s already famous whisky heritage.

Vision of the Founder

Stewart Laing, the driving force behind Ardnahoe Distillery, aimed to meld traditional Scotch whisky-making methods with contemporary innovations. The Laing family’s extensive experience in the industry, cultivated through their involvement with Hunter Laing & Co, greatly influenced the distillery’s philosophy. Their commitment to maintaining the high standards of Islay whisky production is evident in every aspect of the distillery’s operation.

Distillery’s Development and Production

From its conception, Ardnahoe Distillery has been noted for its adherence to traditional whisky-making practices. It features wooden washbacks and specially designed copper pot stills, integral in shaping the unique character of its spirits. Additionally, the distillery is situated in a location offering breathtaking views across the Sound of Islay, further enhancing its appeal.

Current Status and Progress

In the present day, Ardnahoe Distillery continues to flourish. Its first releases of whisky are eagerly anticipated by enthusiasts and connoisseurs, given the Laing family’s reputation and the distillery’s commitment to quality. Despite its relative youth in the whisky world, Ardnahoe has already captured the interest of the global whisky community.

Awards Won by Ardnahoe Distillery

Five Star Grading from Visit Scotland: This is a pivotal accolade, placing Ardnahoe Distillery among the elite in Scotland’s tourist attractions.

  • Significance of the Award:
    • It’s part of Visit Scotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme, an internationally recognized system.
    • This scheme assesses high standards across accommodation, visitor attractions, and the food sector.
  • What It Means for Ardnahoe:
    • Ardnahoe is one of only two distilleries on the Isle of Islay to achieve this.
    • It’s the third distillery in Argyll and Bute to be recognized with this prestigious award.
  • Factors Contributing to the Award:
    • Exceptional standards in visitor services.
    • An overall remarkable visitor experience.
    • Expert knowledge of whisky and Islay.
    • A consistently warm and welcoming approach.

Ardnahoe Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Spirit of Ardnahoe Tour

Embark on a 45-minute journey priced at £12, where tradition meets modernity in the art of whisky making. This tour offers a comprehensive insight into the creation of Ardnahoe’s unique spirit.

Visitors are treated to an engaging narrative of the distillery’s history, surrounded by the breathtaking landscape of the Isle of Islay. The experience culminates in the bespoke dramming area, where guests can savor a taste of Ardnahoe’s whisky and receive a glass as a keepsake.

Whisky & Food Pairing Adventure

Ardnahoe takes you on a culinary voyage with its Whisky & Food Pairing experience. Here, you can explore the harmonious interaction between diverse whisky flavors and various food or cheese selections. This experience is especially tailored for enthusiasts eager to understand the nuanced relationship between whisky and gastronomy.

Diverse Tasting Experiences

Ardnahoe prides itself on offering a plethora of tasting experiences to satisfy every palate. These include:

  • The Whisky and Cheese pairing, a delight for the senses.
  • The Blending experience, where you can explore your whisky-making skills.
  • The Warehouse tour, offering an authentic glimpse into whisky storage.
  • The ‘Spirit of Ardnahoe and Their Expressions’ tasting, a journey through the distillery’s finest.

Essential Visitor Information

To ensure a seamless experience:

  • It is recommended to book your tour online in advance.
  • The distillery is committed to accessibility, offering wheelchair access, free wifi, and ample parking facilities.
  • Please note, children under 12 are not permitted in the production areas.

Flask & Barrel Review of Ardnahoe Distillery

As someone who’s toured quite a few whisky distilleries, I found my visit to Ardnahoe Distillery to be an outstanding experience, deserving of a solid 4.7 out of 5 rating. Let me break down my experience:

Setting and Ambience: First off, the location of Ardnahoe on Islay is just breathtaking. The views of the Paps of Jura are something you don’t easily forget. It’s got this serene, almost magical atmosphere that’s perfect for whisky lovers like me who appreciate not just the drink, but the whole experience.

Tour Experience: The tour itself was top-notch. It struck the right balance between being informative and engaging. As a collector, I’ve heard my fair share of whisky-making processes, but the guide at Ardnahoe had a way of making it feel fresh and exciting. Plus, their focus on traditional methods, despite being a modern distillery, really added an authentic touch.

The Whisky: Now, onto the main event – the whisky. Ardnahoe’s range, although newer compared to others on Islay, did not disappoint. Their signature peated style is both dynamic and full-bodied, which is exactly what I look for in a good Islay whisky. The tasting session was well-curated, and I particularly enjoyed the unique combinations in their whisky and food pairing.

Facilities and Accessibility: The distillery is modern and well-equipped. I appreciated the fact that they’ve made it all-accessible. It’s welcoming and comfortable, and the staff were all friendly and knowledgeable.

Overall Vibe: There’s this family-owned charm about Ardnahoe that you don’t always get in bigger distilleries. It feels personal, almost like being welcomed into a home rather than a facility.

Why Not a Full 5?: Why not a perfect score, you might ask? Well, as a collector, I’m always looking for that extra something – maybe a rare edition or a unique cask. Ardnahoe is still growing its range, so I’m holding out for that special edition that’ll make me bump up the score.

What To Do Nearby Ardnahoe Distillery

Bowmore: Known as Islay’s administrative capital, Bowmore offers a variety of distilleries, beaches, cafes, shops, and restaurants.

Port Charlotte: This town is home to the Museum of Islay Life and offers a selection of whiskies, visitor centers, and dining options.

Port Ellen: As one of the largest towns on Islay, it is a significant port town with natural beauty and several distilleries.

Port Askaig: Situated between Islay and Jura, it offers beautiful views and several distilleries.

Finlaggen: A historical site important for Clan Donald, offering insights into Scottish history.

Dunyvaig Castle: A ruin with a rich history, located in Lagavulin Bay, east of Port Ellen.

Machir Bay: Offers unspoilt sands for walking or picnicking, located near Kilchoman.

Museum of Islay Life: Located in Port Charlotte, it provides a deep dive into the island’s history.

Islay American Monument: A monument in the National Reserve north of Port Ellen, commemorating American troops lost in WWI.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Ardnahoe Distillery?

Stonefield Castle: Rated at 4.5 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at +441880820836 and their address is A83, Tarbert PA29 6YJ, United Kingdom.

Ballygrant Inn: This pub has a 4.3-star rating on Google Maps. You can contact them at +441496840277 and their address is Ballygrant, Isle of Islay PA45 7QR, United Kingdom.

Peatzeria: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. The address is 22 Shore St., and the contact is +441496810810.

What hotels are near Ardnahoe Distillery?

Bridgend Hotel: Located approximately 8 miles from Ardnahoe Distillery, it’s well-rated for its welcoming staff and good breakfast. Their address is A846, Bridgend PA44 7PB, Scotland, you can contact them at+44 1496 810212

Jura Hotel: Situated around 7 miles away, this hotel is known for its helpful staff and proximity to Ardnahoe Distillery. The Jura Hotel, located in Craighouse, PA60 7XU, Scotland, can be contacted at +44 1496 820243 for enquiries and reservations.

The Machrie: About 15.2 miles from the distillery, it offers a comfortable stay with good food and attentive staff. The Machrie hotel, situated at Port Ellen PA42 7AN, Scotland, can be contacted for bookings or queries at +44 1496 302310.