Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg Distillery
4.5
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  • Swiss-skier
    London, United Kingdom57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely visit with complementary drams
    The distillery tours were booked up well in advance so we had to make do with a tasting in the bar. The lady in charge was very welcoming and invited us into a very grand looking room, at the back of the bar, decorated with sheepskins and some very nice older bottling of Ardbeg. She was impressed that we had tried to walk to Loch Uigeadail - the source of Ardbeg’s water - the day before. She was very friendly and had time to chat. At the end she would accept payment for the tasting flights that we had ordered.
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written May 5, 2023
  • Charles B
    Stirling, United Kingdom28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceptionally kind staff
    Visited the distillery the week after festival week. Distillery was closed for maintenance but still had a great time, coffee and a dram. The shop staff were exceptional, really kind and helpful. Definitely worth a visit if you are on Islay. Brilliant shop and restaurant and one of the best locations on the island.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written June 14, 2023
  • Kevin O
    Kirkby Lonsdale, United Kingdom50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Superb distillery and very friendly staff
    Visited on the 10th staff were superb in the shop very welcoming and professional. Genuine interest in what whiskies we wanted to sample and purchase, very knowledgeable and patient. Even answering questions of an enquiring 13 year old who had scientific queries. Driver drams provided and can’t fault the welcome or attitude
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 12, 2023
  • Kath
    Palmerston North, New Zealand4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent whiskey, interesting tour, friendly staff.
    Eva was an excellent guide around the distillery. Interesting to hear about the distillery, taste different whiskeys from the Ardbeg range, and also learn a bit about growing up on the island. Highly recommend.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 13, 2023
  • Alex R
    8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great tour, cafe closed though
    Had a lovely tour with Eva who shared a lot about island life and the history of Ardbeg. The shop is great but dissappointed there weren't any distillery exclusive bottles. Also we had specifically planned to eat at the Old Kiln cafe with out family as we'd heard such great things but when we arrived we were told the cafe didn't have a chef at the moment so there was only pre-made sandiches and soup from the trailer outside. Really disappointing as there wasn't any mention of this from Ardbeg knowing I had booked a tour and I didn't see anything on their website eaither. If we'd known we could have made other arragements but there are very few places to eat in the area so we settled for some sandwiches and roast corn as several of the other hot things were already sold out from the trailer.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 18, 2023
  • Liz C
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely staff and great service
    There is an indoor and outdoor cafe area here. We stopped for tea and scones here. The staff were very pleasant and service was excellent, even though it was quite busy. The scones were delicious, heated through and served with jam and cream.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 22, 2023
  • KVH
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great whisky, amazing lunch spot
    Awesome, interesting whisky and a life changing burger. Ardbeg has a very different feel to a lot of other distilleries. Young and funky, with great loos and a must stop for the fabulous lunch. Staff were laid back and friendly, letting us take our generous free samples of whisky through to the restaurent to enjoy with lunch. Plenty of good merch available in the shop as well!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 5, 2023
  • Tamara W
    Charlottesville, Virginia15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Whisky and walks!
    We had a wonderful experience with Emma who was our guide on a special Drams on the Dam walk and lunch. Great views, excellent special tasting for our walk and perfect to enjoy both the whisky and the surroundings. Learned the history of the distillery and the community that supported it and how life has changed.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 22, 2023
  • Sleps
    Sanctuary Point, Australia42 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great whiskey, a beautiful setting and a lovely tour
    Loved this distillery your. Wee Emma is informative and has a lovely sense of humor. The Ardbeg story is interesting and there is something lovely about being around time honored practices. (They use the same grain testing sieve that they have used for generations). The whole place is a delightful mix traditional and young and funky. (Including the naming of some of the whiskeys) Absolutely worth a visit. (I also loved the fact that my drivers drams came in cool tube for takeaway. )
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 31, 2023
  • edinmike82
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom152 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic tour
    Great experience on the standard tour. Our tour guide, Rebecca, was knowledgable, friendly and did a great job of managing quite a rowdy group. The tour came with 3 drams which were all delicious and generously poured. Afterwards had a great lunch in the cafe, delicious ciabatta and coffee, reasonably priced. Thanks for a great experience!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 16, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles992 reviews
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716
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199
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51
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Brucestewart
Livingston, UK9,789 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
I have wanted to visit Islay for many years and in July 2022 it came about. We were on a Harmony Coach Holidays tour to a few distilleries staying at a hotel in Ardrishaig.

The day before we had visited the Glen Scotia distillery in Cambeltown where our guide proved to be the distillery manager who provided our group with a very technical presentation on the way in which whisky is distilled and matured. The presentation at Ardbeg was completely different in that our guide was a young woman who was clearly enthusiastic about the output from her place of employment. After a short tour of some of the distillery she mentioned that she was born in Islay and grew up there. When we reached the tasting room she provided us with a very informative account of the history of whisky production on Islay, at one time there were over 20 distilleries although currently there are only eight, in production with another couple going to be joining the number in coming years.

Our tasting covered 4 whiskies. I was particularly interested in the first 3 we sampled as I had an unopened bottle of all 3 at home at the time. These were first of all the Ten Year Old, then An Oa and finally Uigeadail. It was great to taste them at the same and make a comparison. The 4th whisky was a bottle of 19 year old Traigh Bhan. While really liked the first three I must confess that I didn't like either the smell or taste of the 19th year old. When we went to the distillery shop after the tasting I was stunned to see the price of the Traigh Bhan, over £200 which makes it the dearest whisky I've ever tasted and I didn't like! What I did like however was the sample of Wee Beastie 5 year old I was given in the shop which resulted in mr buying a bottle.

After the tasting we went to the catering van in the courtyard and my wife and I bought a bowl of Cullen Skink each. It was lovely. However it was described as smoked fish chowder. When I queried this we were told that the name change was for visitors from beyond Scotland! OK, I think that I can accept the reasoning for this.

Before leaving we made a visit to the very colourful toilets and then it was into the taxis that had brought us from the ferry terminal for our return journey. I must praise 'Jim' the driver of our taxi. He regailed us with hisexcellent knowledge of the Island as he drove us here and there.

All in all a wonderful experience.
Written March 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Francois T
Johannesburg, South Africa957 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
I am a big fan of Ardbeg whiskies and will continue to drink it but was a bit disappointed with the distillery. We did not do a tour, but in the end glad we did not. Ardbeg is the last distillery on the Three Distillery path from Port Ellen and we walked there. The shop area in the visitor centre was so busy you could hardly move and it took time to find someone to help us do some tasting flights. We also found that they were not really interested to give much information and just want you to pay and drink. It is a beautiful distillery with many photo opportunities and some “funky” rest rooms. It is also very easy to get a bus from Ardbeg to Port Ellen. It is worth a visit but we felt with small changes it could be great. What is a bit sad is that Ardbeg seem to venture away from there traditional whiskies and I hope it is not the start of the decline of a great brand.
Written July 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Swiss-skier
London, UK57 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
The distillery tours were booked up well in advance so we had to make do with a tasting in the bar. The lady in charge was very welcoming and invited us into a very grand looking room, at the back of the bar, decorated with sheepskins and some very nice older bottling of Ardbeg. She was impressed that we had tried to walk to Loch Uigeadail - the source of Ardbeg’s water - the day before. She was very friendly and had time to chat. At the end she would accept payment for the tasting flights that we had ordered.
Written May 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EmRy
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020 • Couples
This may be the best distillery on Islay. It’s certainly my favorite. My partner and I were celebrating our 10 year anniversary, she wanted to see Scotland and I wanted to visit this distillery. I love the rich flavors of Ardbeg’s various expressions. The tour was fantastic, the people who work there are both professional and friendly. The distillery itself is absolutely beautiful. I visited Ardbeg just before the new stills were delivered (we were leaving the island just as the new stills arrived), so it was still technically one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland when I was there.

I know most people are more familiar with Lagavulin and Laphroaig, but Ardbeg is the best distillery among the three to visit. If you only have time for one, visit Ardbeg. And if you can afford it, purchase a bottle of the Twenty Something 22 yr, some of the best whisky I ever tasted. Cheers!
Written May 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank T
Elmshorn, Germany121 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Friends
The core range tasting from Ardbeg today was absolute BS rubbish.

There is no reason to travel for days and days and hundreds of kilometers for a tasting that we can do better at home.

As long as we were at the distillery for a tasting, we would have really appreciated some background information about the history of the distillery how the whisky is made and what is special about it.

What we got instead was a very superficial introduction to each whisky expression, which we can read on the bottle.

Good news is that we did have some water on the table for the cask strength whiskys but the bad news is this was tapwater with a very strong chlorine odour. When our tasting leader was asked why they put chlorine tapwater on the table for a whisky tasting his reply was ‘I would not walk 3 miles to the store to get spring water for a tasting’.

We’ve been trying for the last 2 1/2 years to get back to Islay for a whisky tour and we are very disappointed with Ardbegs core range tasting.

Would we book this again? No. Would we recommend this to our family and friends? No. Would we recommend recommend this to anybody else? No.

Other island distilleries are making a special effort by to take care of their client base. Looks like Ardbeg simply doesn’t care.
Written September 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WinnaDing
Scotland, UK53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021 • Couples
This isn’t an Ardbeg Distillery tour review. We only had food. The Kiln Cafe is being changed or renovated, however they have an Airstream / ARDStream in the courtyard. Good selection of pizzas, salad, hot rolls, soup, paninis and more. Not the same experience as the Kiln Cafe but the food quality was excellent. Friendly service. Highly recommended.
Beautiful setting, even if you don’t take the tour or go to the gift shop.
Written October 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Diane J
Fife, UK44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
We walked from Port Ellen and we were really warmly welcomed even though we were only stopping for a drink. They have an outside cafe serving lunch, cakes, coffees and drinks. We enjoyed the local Islay beer sitting in the sunshine. The staff in the shop were really friendly.
We when back for coffee on the Sunday before catching the ferry and they were shut! Such a shame, I am glad they weren’t shut after we walked all that way so worth checking if you are walking
Written July 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Geoffmount
Driffield, UK186 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
We were unable to book a tour but decided to try their “weird and wonderful” tasting. We are both Ardbeg fans so we had high expectations. Sadly, only one of the drams was worth drinking. The others were very disappointing, not at all in the mould of Ardbeg.

The outside cafe was the highlight. The food was very good. This made the long walk worthwhile. This was the only distillery that we visited that we chose not to purchase anything at all. Some distilleries offer discounted products. This is one that chose not to.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex R
8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Had a lovely tour with Eva who shared a lot about island life and the history of Ardbeg. The shop is great but dissappointed there weren't any distillery exclusive bottles. Also we had specifically planned to eat at the Old Kiln cafe with out family as we'd heard such great things but when we arrived we were told the cafe didn't have a chef at the moment so there was only pre-made sandiches and soup from the trailer outside. Really disappointing as there wasn't any mention of this from Ardbeg knowing I had booked a tour and I didn't see anything on their website eaither. If we'd known we could have made other arragements but there are very few places to eat in the area so we settled for some sandwiches and roast corn as several of the other hot things were already sold out from the trailer.
Written July 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin O
Kirkby Lonsdale, UK50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Visited on the 10th staff were superb in the shop very welcoming and professional. Genuine interest in what whiskies we wanted to sample and purchase, very knowledgeable and patient.

Even answering questions of an enquiring 13 year old who had scientific queries.

Driver drams provided and can’t fault the welcome or attitude
Written July 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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