Ardbeg’s Distillery Manager Mickey Heads, is retiring, and Ardbeg has announced the launch of Arrrrrrrdbeg! – a Limited Edition that celebrates his time at the helm.
As Distillery Manager since 2007, Mickey retired in late 2020, after 13 years. During his time, he oversaw the distillation of dozens of fine Ardbeg expressions, took part in worldwide Ardbeg celebrations, took home the title of IWC ‘Distillery of the Year’ three times in a row, and was named Distillery Manager of the Year 2014.
Arrrrrrrdbeg! is the Distillery’s first whisky wholly matured in ex-rye casks. On the nose, aromas of smoked banana and pear blend with hints of rye bread, sweet vanilla toffee and aniseed. With a splash of water, citrusy lemon and lime can be found, while notes of sherbet and sweet pastry. On the mouth- spicy, fruity, with a long finish on the palate. The label is by Brazilian artist Butcher Billy and depicts Mickey as a salty seadog.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Whisky Creation at Ardbeg, said: “Working with Mickey has been an absolute joy. He’s somebody with a genuine passion for Ardbeg and we hope that this bottling will take pride of place in his collection. He’s presided over many momentous Ardbegs over the years, but this ‘end of an era’ edition is a special one. The spirit inside is pretty special too: Arrrrrrrdbeg! is the Distillery’s first ever ex-rye cask whisky. With notes of smoked banana and pear, sweet toffee and that distinctive Ardbeg smoke, it’s the perfectly peaty parting gift.”
Mickey plans to spend a bit of time fishing in his retirement, with a few visits planned back at the distillery (as Chairman of The Ardbeg Committe). For more information: ardbeg.com