Yesterday evening around nine a message was posted on a Dutch forum titled "Astounishing Islay whisky news from Scotland". The message was posted by Hans Offringa. Hans Offringa is author of the book "The Legend of Laphroaig" and a respected member of the whisky community. The contents of his message were quite astounishing indeed. The news Hans posted was that Ardbeg Distillery was up for sale and Bruichladdich Distillery had recently been sold, according to a reliable Scottish source.
Immediately Twitter and Facebook were buzzing and several forums wrote about this unusual rumour, because that's what it was/is. Hans Offringa tried to verify the news with some of his friends in Scotland and I did my wee research and checked with the Ileach. Brian was kind enough to contact Ardbeg and he said "I've checked with Ardbeg and they know nothing of which you speak. the source of the rumours may be the fact that Diageo own 35% of Moet Hennessy, who own Glenmorangie, but how that woud impact on the sale of ardbeg, I know not." Continue reading...
In the meanwhile a Twitter message from Bruich_Sales appeared: "Not true! Bruich is still 100% independent & we are all working hard to hit budet this year and next." Now that sounds like nothing has happened or will happen in the (near) future which means that Bruichladdich will remain independent and Ardbeg won't be sold. In the meanwhile Hans Offringa admitted in the Dutch forums that the rumours were not true:
I've noticed the upheaval since my postings and since have been trying to get more info from my source, who has kept silent until know. If it appears that he told an untrue message, I feel sorry and would like to apologize to you and all concerned for unintentionally wreaking havoc. As you know I take my profession seriously and feel uncomfortable with this situation.
Furthermore Mark Reynier, MD of Bruichladdich, sent me an email and confirmed again that Bruicchladdich has NOT been sold and that the rumours are false! Enough written about nothing!