Jackie and Mickey toast!

ISLAY, UK - 13 March 2020


Dear Committee Member

It's Jackie here. You may want to take a seat...

It's fallen to me to tell you that Mickey Heads has decided that now is the time to hang up his hydrometer, and step down as our Distillery Manager. They say 13 is an unlucky number, but we at Ardbeg have been extremely lucky to have had Mickey at the helm for 13 successful years.

Mickey's official retirement date isn't until October this year, so we're pleased that he'll be with us to celebrate Ardbeg Day 2020. In truth, Mickey's retirement only comes in part for now, as he'll continue to be your Committee Chairman for the next three years. Having led eight Ardbeg Days to date, we're delighted to have him run the show for three more, dispensing drams to you and your friends and signing your Ardbeg Day bottles with his signature gold pen.

As anybody from Islay will tell you, goodbyes here are often short-lived! Although Mickey is leaving the Distillery, he won't be leaving the island. He plans to spend his time productively, doing some of the things he loves. There are fish to catch, concerts to go to and millions of books to read - all with a dram of Ardbeg close by of course!

No doubt we'll have a hard time filling his shoes, but the search for a new Distillery Manager - arguably the best job in the world - is now well and truly underway. The creation of the ultimate Islay malt stops for no one, so we're excited to ring in a new era soon, and get down to bottling more award-winning Ardbegs!

Mickey is a modest man who won't want a fuss, however there are many grateful friends, colleagues and Ardbeggians around the world that will! So you can rest assured that we are planning something extra-special for Mickey's retirement. I'll be sure to keep you posted over the coming months...

I speak for everyone at the Distillery when I say how much we will miss Mickey - his warmth, his passion for Ardbeg, his hard work and his hard hat and high-vis vest!

So wherever we are, whoever we are, let's raise a glass (of Ardbeg) to Mickey. Thanks for everything Mr Heads!

SlĂ inte!

Jackie Thomson

Jackie Thomson
Distillery Visitor Centre Manager

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