This was posted yesterday on the Ardbeg site-
Dear Committee Members and friends,
As your Chairman for the last five and a half years I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our beloved Ardbeg grow from a whisky known by a few to a malt increasingly recognised across the world.
Who would have believed this could have happened when I arrived in 1997 with the backing of The Glenmorangie Company to breathe new life into a Distillery that by all measures was nearly lost forever. The transformation in those 9 years has been quite extraordinary, extremely exciting and yes, from time to time a little scary... especially when the roof of the Old Kiln blew off in the hurricane of January 1999!
The passion and enthusiasm you have shown for Ardbeg and indeed the support you have given me and the team at the Distillery has been one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Many of you have made the arduous journey to Islay to wonder along with myself at the remarkable renaissance of this proud Distillery.
In no small measure this is down to you, the Committee, who have spread the word about Ardbeg and its indomitable spirit to the four corners of the globe to the extent that the Committee now numbers some 35,000 members in 112 countries!
So it is with great regret that this note announces my departure from Ardbeg. I have been considering this for some time not because of any dimming of my passion for The Ultimate Islay Malt - more because there comes a time in life when it's quite simply time for a change.
I shall be leaving Ardbeg soon to go off to pastures new, but one thing I will always carry with me are memories of all the conversations, e-mails, tastings, discussions, debates and comradeship we have had over the years. My admiration for Ardbeg under Glenmorangie’s stewardship remains as strong as ever.
I wish my successor well and go off to my next adventure bolstered with pride in all that I and the team at the Distillery and Old Kiln have achieved together. I, of course, remain a member of the Committee and look forward to keeping in touch.
I was quite shocked at first when i read this but i wish my friend Stuart all the best where ever he may land next , he's an all round good guy , and they're few and far between , and myself and my wife are glad we can call him a friend. One thing for sure Ardbeg won't be the same without him around !
Now all that remains is cue the conspiricy theorists, rumour mongers , gossipers etc etc .......
And of course all of the best wishes to them and their family for continued success and happiness.
Mr Fjeld wrote:I have the impression from what I've read here and there that he and his wife has been instrumental in developing the resurrected Ardbeg. I'm sure the new owners of Glenmorangie Plc are professional enough but I cannot stop wondering if an upper market brand like LMVH will make the products costlier? I'm sure there will be many good opportunities in the whisky business for a couple like Mr & Mrs Thomson.
Knowing what LVMH did to the other businesses they acquired during these last 10 years and what was written about LVMH and Glenmorangie, I would be very surprised if they won't make the products costlier.
Knowing a bit Stuart and Jackie, I would not be surprised if LVMH is not one of main reason for this departure. Will see if he will continue to work for a distillery of the LVMH group or not.
In any case, the work done so far by Mr Thomson, his wife and Glenmorangie is quite impressive and I am confident that there will be some very good Ardbegs in the future
C_I wrote:But what will happen with Shortie?
The whole website of Ardbeg is amost built on him.... Needs a serious revamp, or is Shortie coursety of LVMH and are Stuart and Jackie allowed just to take care of him...
I think someone said that Jackie was staying on at Ardbeg so that would indicate not problems for Shortie being shipped out
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