Islay is the most southerly whisky producing island of the Inner Hebrides and the most revered. The distinct character of its fine malts can be attributed to proximity to the sea and to rich peat beds that provide the distilleries with fuel. Ardbeg Distillery dates back to 1815 and its whisky was for many years produced for blending purposes. Ardbeg gained a reputation as the world’s peatiest malt from the fact that its maltings had no fans. This caused the peat smoke to permeate the grains very heavily. The distillery is today owned by the luxury LVMH group. Ardbeg is notable for its policy of bottling whisky at a higher alcohol by volume than the minimum 40%, and for not chill filtering. Both of these measures yield more flavour and body.