Ardbeg releases bottling to commemorate the retirement of distillery manager Mickey Heads

Ardbeg has released a limited-edition bottling, Arrrrrrrdbeg, to celebrate distillery manager, Mickey Heads’ 13 years at the head of the distillery.

Heads became manager of the Ardbeg in 2007 and in his time at the distillery, oversaw the distillation of dozens of Ardbeg expressions.

Under his management, Ardbeg was named the IWC Distillery of the Year three times in a row between 2018 and 2020 and Heads was named Distillery Manager of the Year in 2014.

Heads retired from the company in late 2020.

“Working with Mickey has been an absolute joy. He’s somebody with a genuine passion for Ardbeg and we hope that this bottling will take pride of place in his collection,” said Dr Bill Lumsden, director of whisky creation at Ardbeg.

“He’s presided over many momentous Ardbegs over the years, but this ‘end of an era’ edition is a special one. The spirit inside is pretty special too: Arrrrrrrdbeg! is the Distillery’s first-ever ex-rye cask whisky. With notes of smoked banana and pear, sweet toffee and that distinctive Ardbeg smoke, it’s the perfectly peaty parting gift.”

Arrrrrrrdbeg will be made available exclusively to the Ardbeg Committee, the distillery’s supporters’ group that boasts a worldwide membership over 120,000 fans, from 1st February.

The bottle’s illustrated label, created by Brazilian artist and graphic designer Butcher Billy, features Heads as the captain of a pirate ship.

“It was an absolute pleasure to spend the last 13 years heading the crew at the greatest Distillery on earth. I had the best team of people anyone could wish for and I’m proud that we’ve been responsible for producing so many wonderful Ardbegs along the way,” said Heads.

“As for this bottling, well I’m honoured that a place that has already given me so much would celebrate my retirement in such a thoughtful way. And to have my image on a bottle, that’s a dream come true!”

Arrrrrrrdbeg will be available to purchase at rrp £145 for 70cl from and Ardbeg stockists from February 2021.