Ardnahoe Update and Islay Festival Tasting with Jim McEwan

Whisky writer Dave Broom recently penned an article asking why anyone would want to become builders and owners of a ninth distillery on Islay? Why, not, he queried, become the first malt whisky distillers on Tiree, for example?

Artist impression Ardnahoe Distillery

After visiting the site overlooking the Sound of Islay on a bright but windy Wednesday afternoon, with no disrespect to Tiree, the logic of the decision made by Hunter-Laing to produce whisky at Ardnahoe wouldn’t be difficult to defend. After all, the whisky industry is almost as much about the visitor experience as it is about the amber nectar and the views from the site are spectacular. Continue reading....

Earlier in the day, Stewart Laing and Jim McEwan of Hunter-Laing along with architect Iain Hepburn met with Islay & Neil McEachern and Gordon Currie, contractor and sub-contractor for construction of Islay’s latest distillery, work on which is already underway. Mr Laing affirmed his faith in their choice of McEachern Brothers Construction to undertake the building of the multi-million pound project, saying that he was impressed with their commitment and sharing of the standards that were part of Hunter-Laing’s heritage.

Islay McEachern told us, ‘We are delighted to have been selected by Hunter Laing for this significant and exciting new development. McEacherns have had a long association with Islay distilleries and we’re honoured to be involved with Islay’s ninth. Both the location and the building are spectacular, and the design team have excelled in blending the structure within the landscape. Ardnahoe will provide a welcome, substantial and long term boost to Islay’s economy.’

During the site visit, Jim McEwan showed where the visitor centre and still room would soon exist by early 2018, pointing out where it was planned to site a viewing platform from where visitors could observe the construction phase as it took place. The distillery buildings will be all but concealed from traffic on the Bunnahabhain road, sitting behind an existing hill on the slope down to the Sound.

Artist impression Ardnahoe Distillery

The company has restored and expanded seven passing places between Persabus Farm and the distillery entrance opposite Loch Ardnahoe to minimise inconvenience to traffic during construction of the distillery, while the road has been widened a few hundred metres before the kerbed entrance.

Architect Iain Hepburn pointed out that the area would not be blighted by unsightly warehouses, with the intention to transport the spirit off the island to be casked and stored in Hunter-Laing’s warehouses in east Kilbride. “Some smaller amounts of speciality malts will be put into casks on site and stored elsewhere on the island.”

Islay Festival Tasting with Jim McEwan

To mark the start of the construction of Ardnahoe Distillery, Hunter Laing & Co Ltd. decided to give Ardnahoe Production Director Jim McEwan the opportunity to select his favourite Islay malts from their warehouses. Jim will lead two tasting evenings in Ballygrant Hall bringing along a number of rare whiskies to tease the palates of the (well-heeled) cognoscenti and offer an introduction to the new distillery. The following whiskies are chosen: 1988 Bunnahabhain (28yo) (Sherry), 1987 Bowmore (30yo), 1983 Caol Ila (33yo) (Sherry), 1987 Laphroaig (30yo), 1991 Ardbeg (26yo) and a1982 Port Ellen (34yo). An incredible selection and there will be two opportunities to attend this event - Tuesday 30th May, and Thursday 1st June. Both events will begin at 7pm. Tickets are £150 and available online here

Tag: ardnahoe distillery jim mcewan

Published with kind permission of the Ileach. Ardnahoe Artist impressions courtesy of Ardnahoe Distillery