Awards galore for Islay distillery

Island producer awarded near perfect scores for single malt range

Dr Bill Lumsden became the first person to be named ISC’s Distiller of the Year twice

IT has been a great summer for Islay single malt Ardbeg as it was named Distillery of the Year at the International Whisky Competition (IWC), while the man behind the malt scooped Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge (ISC).

The distillery team, led by Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks for Ardbeg owner The Glenmorangie Company, was praised for its “innovation” and “exceptional craftsmanship” as Ardbeg’s Uigeadail picked up two category awards for Best Single Malt (Islay) and Best Peated Whisky at the IWC awards.

The competition, which took place in Las Vegas, saw a panel of experts herald Ardbeg’s whisky for the second year in a row in blind-tastings; the distillery’s Kelpie Committee Exclusive was named overall Whisky of the Year in 2017.

We are honoured and delighted that Ardbeg’s entire range came in for such high praise.

Out of a possible one hundred, the tasting panel scored Uigeadail 96.8, lauding it as a “gorgeous dram”, while Ardbeg’s An Oa and Corryvreckan expressions were awarded scores of 94.4 and 94.1 respectively.

Judges also awarded a score of 95.4 to a limited edition bottling from the distillery, Ardbeg Grooves.

Lumsden was singled out for further acclaim at the ISC awards dinner in London last month as he became the first person to become the ISC Distiller of the Year twice, having previously won the award in 2015.

Glenmorangie also picked up five gold medals and two trophy awards on the night.

On the IWC distillery award win, Lumsden said: “We are truly honoured to be named IWC Distillery of the Year – and delighted that Ardbeg’s entire range came in for such high praise.”