Like the other southern Islay distilleries, Ardbeg produces a heavily peated spirit, with a turfy smoke and seaspray character predominant in most bottlings. The distillery fell foul of the global whisky downturn in the late 1970s, which led to the distillery falling silent in 1981. Production resumed sporadically in 1989, but the distillery closed its doors in 1996.
However, all was not lost. In 1997 Ardbeg was taken over by Glenmorangie plc, and the past two decades have seen a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for this previously neglected distillery, and it has risen to become a cult favourite and one of the best-known producers on Islay.