The final Kildalton distillery is Ardbeg. Again, no tour for us on this visit but instead a tasty lunch in the old kiln cafe. As with most Islay distilleries they've stopped producing their own malt and instead get hold of it from Port Ellen maltings.

There's a selection of fresh cooked home-made dishes and a well-stocked shop. The tour ends in the tasting room, which has a large variety on offer. Certainly somewhere I'll have to return to!
They've created a few experimental malts, not least alligator (see right), named for the charring technique used on the casks which causes them to resemble alligator hide. As you might expect its very smoky, charcoal, ash alongside a touch of peat from the base spirit, not for everyone but I enjoyed my dram. The Blasda (left) is a different kettle of fish altogether. Distilled with a lower ppm specification on the peat in the malt its much more gentle with a sweet honey note in the mouth.

I was pleased to capture this reflection shot outside of the distillery. As you can see Ardbeg uses different types of cask to achieve different finishes on the spirit.

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