After 13 years at the helm, our legendary Distillery Manager, Mickey Heads has set sail for horizons new. The captain of the good ship Ardbeg has retired. Mickey’s leaving has been hard to fathom for all of the crew, but to commemorate the skipper and his service, we’ve created an extra-special bottle of grog – a treasure fit for the saltiest of seadogs. So to Mickey we say, ‘yo-ho-ho and a bottle of Arrrrrrrdbeg!’ as we raise a toast and wish him good luck and Godspeed!



Wholly matured in ex-rye casks, gunpowder, smoked banana and pear drift into vanilla and rye on the nose. A spicy mouthfeel hoists up and ignites a blunderbuss of fruity flavours.

An armada of aniseed is tailed by smoked toffee and a distant hint of sourdough biscuits. The long finish lingers, with gentle smoke listing on the palate.


Before Mickey sailed off into the sunset, he and Jackie (our Distillery Visitor Centre Manager) took to the Distillery’s galley – more commonly referred to as the maltings room – to read through a whole raft of questions from Mickey’s mateys.

From Islay and beyond, the messages washed up on Ardbeg’s shores. Click the video below to watch the captain’s final interview and learn the answers to some of the most burning questions from his nearest and dearest.


Mickey and Jackie also got together for one last time to discuss the finer details of this exclusive bottling. Watch below and enjoy a momentous Ardbeg moment, as Mickey savours his last ever tasting. It’ll bring a tear to your rye...


If you’d like to host your own farewell event for Mickey, we’ve put together some Arrrrrrrdbeg! Printable Plunder. Chock-full of piratey props, this downloadable kit includes cocktail recipes, tasting maps and even a pirate code game, so you and your fellow Ardbeggians can salute Mickey in true swashbuckling style.

Simply click the button below to download and print everything at home.


Don’t be afraid to express your inner buccaneer and share your photos online using #MickeyHeadsOff.