Ardbeg, producer of one of the best known of the world renowned Islay single malt whiskies, stormed the recent World Whisky Awards in London with a hat-trick of wins:
- World’s Best Single Malt
- Best Islay Single Malt
- Global Icon Visitor Centre Manager of the Year.
What more can you ask – even of a repeatedly awarded distillery? [Ardbeg was voted ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’ three years in a row by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.]
Ardbeg features annually in major whisky awards and this year’s World’s Best Single Malt accolade is well earned.
It was a special further recognition on the night when its latest limited edition, Ardbeg Galileo, was declared Best Islay Single Malt.
But the excellence at the distillery in not limited to its products – and the awards recognised that too.
Jackie Thomson, Ardbeg distillery visitor centre manager, was named Global Icon Visitor Centre Manager of the Year, confirming her growing reputation in the industry.
The latest Limited Edition release, Ardbeg Galileo, was launched to celebrate the Islay distillery’s world-first experiment in space on the International Space Station.
This ground-breaking study began when samples of the Ardbeg-crafted molecules took off for the International Space Station (ISS) in the unmanned Russian Progress 45 cargo spacecraft.
The spaceship was launched via a Soyuz booster rocket at 10.11am GMT on 30 October 2011 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It docked with astronauts at the International Space Station at 11.41am GMT on 2 November 2011.
Uproarious singing and the sound of the pipes was later picked up for the station back in the operations room in Kazakhstan – and some odd manoevering of the Space Station noted at the same time. [Only joking - but you never know.]
The experiment is being led by US-based space research company, NanoRacks LLC and was unveiled at Edinburgh’s International Science Festival.
They do say that the Islay malts are rocket fuel and this would tend to lend credence to their mythic potency
Ardbeg, the Ultimate Islay Malt, doe nothing by halves and these three prestigious awards pretty well nail the point.
Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling and whisky creation, says: ‘As Ardbeg’s visitor centre manager Jackie Thomson lives and breathes Ardbeg. Her enthusiasm and passion for the Ultimate Islay Malt is clear to the thousands of smoky malt drinkers who make the pilgrimage to the distillery.
‘We’re all so proud of Jackie and her achievements. She embodies Ardbeg’s commitment to providing an unforgettable experience, and everyone who meets her is inspired.’
Allan Little, Ardbeg senior brand manager, says: ‘Receiving these awards is amazing. We’re over the moon to be recognised as the World’s Best Single Malt 2013, Best Islay Single Malt and Jackie is an inspiration to us all every day.
‘We are thrilled she has been acknowledged as the Global Icon Visitor Centre Manager of the Year, as she’s the ultimate visitor centre manager.’
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.
Ardbeg Galileo is the limited edition 12 Years Old Single Malt Whisky – a special vatting of different styles of Ardbeg laid down in 1999. The spirit has been matured in ex-Marsala wine casks from Sicily that add fruity aromas to Ardbeg’s famed smooth and peaty house style.
And ironically, the World Whisky Awards were presented as the Isle of Islay slid into its own experiences in the recent prolonged power outage. At least the island had its own very special form of internal central heating to hand.
Congratulations to Ardbeg and ite entire team.
This is very serious international recognition of the highest quality of a unique and in-demand product range, alongside recognition of the very best in customer service.