The Ardbeg distillery, founded in 1815 on the small but very productive island of Islay, has stolen the hearts of many whisky lovers. Sometimes they are lovingly referred to as peatheads or peatfreaks because the Ardbeg spirit is heavily peated indeed. Only about 1 million liters per annum are produced. Since the foundation, Ardbeg was mothballed repeatedly and finally taken over by Glenmorangie PLC in 1997 and given a new lease on life. It has become even more popular since then (partly because of a very intelligent marketing machine to complement the wonderful whisky). All stocks are being matured on the island since 1997. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Ardbeg won the title ‘Whisky of the Year’. The Committee Releases (pre-releases to members of the totally free to join Committee) are highly anticipated.