By Ian McConnell

THE owner of the Ardbeg single malt whisky is buying a nearby hotel in what is described as a "deepening" of the Islay distillery's commitment to its "Scottish island home".

The Glenmorangie Company, part of French luxury goods group LVMH, has bought the Islay Hotel in what is being hailed as a "multi-million-pound investment". The purchase price was not disclosed.

Ardbeg said: "This multi-million-pound investment offers Ardbeg the opportunity to create a world-class whisky and hospitality experience a short distance from where it has been making its untamed smoky whisky for more than 200 years."

It added: "Ardbeg has long held the interests of Islay’s people close to its heart. So when the chance came to invest in the town of Port Ellen by acquiring the popular Islay Hotel, the distillery team jumped at the chance."

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Ardbeg declared that, with missives concluded, the aim was to complete the sale and take ownership on October 31.

It added that it would run the hotel as a going concern, declaring it is looking forward to "offering outstanding hospitality to Islay residents, tourists and Ardbeg fans, long into the future".

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Ardbeg said: "With its traditional whitewashed walls, sea views and renowned bar and restaurant, the hotel is already a destination for whisky lovers. It is located on Islay’s south coast, just a few miles from Ardbeg’s...distillery, which draws tens of thousands of the whisky’s fans each year."

It noted the purchase was the "latest in a series of substantial investments" the group had made on the island.