When Unfiltered caught up with Mickey Heads in this Q&A from 2010, he’d been the distillery manager at Ardbeg for three years. Seven years later, he’s still going strong as manager and chairman of the Ardbeg Committee

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If you were a whisky, how would you describe yourself?

Quite complex, smouldering (calm), thoughtful, with lots to say when I open up! What you see and hear is what you get – no filtering or diluting and completely chilled.

What was the last whisky – apart from Ardbeg – that you drank?

A friend sent me some Longmorn 15-year-old which I drank at home watching the football on television.

Tell us something about you that we might not know or expect.

I never ever intended to work in a distillery! Both my grandfathers and my father worked in distilleries here on lslay and I swore never would. I originally wanted to join the Royal Navy and also thought about joining the police. But I love my job so I guess it was destined to be…

Who – dead or alive – would you most like to share a dram with?

James (Captain) Cook. I have read just about every book there is to read on his life. He discovered and charted areas that were unknown at that time and I would love to be able to sit down and hear all of his adventures.

Where is the most unusual place in the world that you have ever drunk whisky?

I travelled in Russia a few years back and I went to Moscow, Archangel and across the eight time zones to Vladivostok; it was a long journey but a wonderful experience. I did tastings there and it is a trip I will always remember.

If the world of whisky came to an end tomorrow, what job would you do?

I’d hope to win the Lottery, retire early and go walking on the hills and do lots of fishing!