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Ardbeg plans multi-million-pound expansion

Islay distillery Ardbeg is responding to growing global demand for its single malts with plans to build a larger still house, which will double its current distillation capacity.

Ardbeg’s expansion will see two stills added

The new ‘traditional-style’ still house will contain four copper stills – two more than the distillery currently operates.

The new still house will be based on a site once occupied by warehouses, while the area where the current still house resides will be repurposed to house more washbacks.

Argyll and Bute Council has already granted planning permission for Ardbeg to install a new boiler house, moving the facility a little further away from the distillery.

The new proposals are now subject to planning approval, but the distillery is aiming to start construction this year and complete in 2019. Ardbeg has confirmed it will continue its normal operations, including tours, while the work is being carried out.

Despite the expansion, Ardbeg will remain one of the smallest distilleries on Islay.

The distillery was bought by The Glenmorangie Company, itself now owned by LVMH, in 1997 following a long period of intermittent production.

Marc Hoellinger, president and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “We are delighted by Ardbeg’s success since 1997 – and by the growing passion for our whisky from fans around the world.

“Ardbeg has been distilled on Islay since 1815 and, with a new still house, we will pave the way for future generations of smoky malt whisky lovers to discover ‘the ultimate Islay malt’.”

News of the expansion comes less than a month after The Glenmorangie Company announced plans for a multi-million-pound expansion of its namesake Highland distillery, Glenmorangie.

Work will include a new still house with two copper stills, which will work in tandem with the distillery’s existing still house. This expansion is also expected to be completed by 2019.

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