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Ardnahoe Distillery Unveils Its Inaugural Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Ardnahoe Inaugural Release 5 Year Old is “three generations in the making”. Photo(s) by Ben Shakespeare for Ardnahoe Distillery

Islay-based Ardnahoe Distillery has unveiled its long-anticipated inaugural single malt scotch whisky: a 5 Year Old. 

Ardnahoe Distillery was built in 2018, with production beginning in October of the same year. Fast forward to 2024, and after a patient 5 years, Ardnahoe’s first ever single malt whisky is ready to be released to the public. 

The Ardnahoe Inaugural Release 5 Year Old is a vatting of whiskies matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. The youngest whisky in the vatting was distilled in March 2019, hence the 5 year age statement. 

In keeping with Islay’s reputation for producing high-quality peated whiskies, the Ardnahoe single malt has a phenol content of 40 ppm. This, combined with gentle peated loch water, lends a subtle smokiness to the coastal whisky. 

In addition to this, Ardnahoe prides itself on being home to the only worm-tub condensers on Islay. These condensers “bring added depth of flavour and complexity to the spirit.”

On the nose expect “shortbread, baked apples and Islay peat smoke”. The palate delivers “custard, ginger, lemon zest and baked apples” leading to a “long, smoky finish”. 

The Ardnhaoe Inaugural Release 5 Year Old has an ABV of 50%. The whisky will be available on the Ardnahoe website, at the distillery, and at whisky retailers such as The Whisky Shop with an RRP of £70 (~$87). 

Andrew Laing (left) and Scott Laing (right) toasting to the distillery’s new release. Photo(s) by Ben Shakespeare for Ardnahoe Distillery

Stewart Laing, Managing Director at Hunter Laing & Co. said: “Building our own distillery was a hugely important and long dreamed of step and it’s been a personal ambition of mine ever since I was posted to work on Islay at Bruichladdich back in the 1960s. From finding the perfect piece of land on Islay for the distillery back in 2015 to now seeing our first whisky released, it’s truly the culmination of a lifelong dream for the Laing family.”

His son, Scott, Hunter Laing & Co Business Development Director, added: “This is a very proud moment for us. The Laing family’s passion and knowledge about Scotch whisky has endured for three generations and it’s a momentous milestone to be releasing our very own, traditionally crafted single malt from our own distillery. Watch this space for more exciting releases in the months and years ahead from Ardnahoe.”

Andrew Laing, son of Stewart Laing, summed up the release by saying: “Ardnahoe Distillery has welcomed many thousands of visitors from all over the globe since we opened in 2019 and there’s been great anticipation at the prospect of the first ever Ardnahoe whisky being released in the UK and internationally. With the Inaugural Release, Ardnahoe has released a whisky that shows signs of one day being regarded as an Islay classic.”

About Ardnahoe Distillery 

Ardnahoe Distillery, Islay.

Ardnahoe Distillery is the culmination of Stewart Laing’s (of Hunter Laing & Co. fame) dream of opening a new distillery on Islay. Along with his sons, Scott and Andrew, Stewart Laing has worked tirelessly to create classic Islay-style scotch whisky. Laing had previously studied whisky-making on the island in the 1960s. 

Having spent many years in partnership with his brother, Fred, running Douglas Laing & Co., Stewart established Hunter Laing & Co. in 2013, following a division of assets. Seeing the potential for a new Islay distillery, Laing resolved to build Ardnahoe Distillery at a cost of £8 million, just south of Bunnahabhain. 

In 2017, Ardnahoe hired whisky industry legend, Jim McEwan MBE, as Master Distiller at Ardnahoe. With credits to his name such as Bowmore and Bruichladdich, Ardnahoe whisky is in good hands. 

Interested in learning more about the history of whisky distillation on Islay? Check out How Islay Became A Whisky Powerhouse


Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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