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Ardbeg boss quits

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett
Stuart Thomson has quit his post as distillery manager of Islay whisky producer Ardbeg after nine years.

Thomson arrived at Ardbeg in 1997 from Glenmorangie, which bought the Islay distillery that year. Speaking in his role as chairman of the Ardbeg Committee - which actually comprises thousands of Ardbeg fans worldwide - he said: It is with great regret that this note announces my departure from Ardbeg. I have been considering this for some time, not because of any dimming of my passion for The Ultimate Islay Malt, more because there comes a time in life when it's simply time for a change.

My admiration for Ardbeg under Glenmorangie's stewardship remains as strong as ever. I wish my successor well and go off to my next adventure bolstered with pride in all that I and the team at the distillery and Old Kiln have achieved together.'

Hamish Torrie, Ardbeg's brand equity champion, told Harpers: Stuart has made an immense contribution to the renaissance of Ardbeg, and we all wish him well.' He added that no successor had yet been appointed.

A new addition to the Ardbeg portfolio is to be released next week. Airigh Nam Beist (Gaelic for shelter of the beast') is a 16-year-old whisky, with all stock barrelled in 1990.

The whisky takes its name from the water source below Loch Uigeadail, which itself is the main water source for the distillery. Airigh Nam Biest, which is bottled at 46% abv, will retail for 44.99.