Recently the new Islay Distillery Tours Leaflet for 2016 has been published. The leaflet is a handy wee thing, both available digitally and in print, as it is packed with useful information, and not only for the whisky tourists on the island I might add. With this in your pocket, or on your tablet of smartphone, you always know where to get a dram, how to come home if you had too many, where to get that espresso if you need it and where to go if you are hungry.
Besides all the important distillery tour times, special tours, contact information and visitor centre opening hours, it also contains info about bus and taxi services, car hire, a wee map and phone numbers of all the restaurants and places where you can stop for a coffee and cake.
Same as in recent years there is an ongoing trend to increase the number of special tours. Most distilleries now offer special warehouse tours, premium tastings, manager's tours, walks to water sources and other variations on the standard and extended tour. All great opportunities to see more of the distillery and its people than with the regular tours, which are already great.
Needless to say It is therefore even more recommended than before to take a (digital) copy with you when you visit Islay and/or Jura. Most folk nowadays have smartphones or tablets and what better information can you take with you than the new digital leaflet. And for those who prefer the smell of ink and paper it's good to know that you can pick up a printed copy of the leaflet in the Tourist Information Office in Bowmore and on other places on the island.
Another word of advice is to always try and book your tours in advance, both regular and special, to prevent disappointment. At busier times even the regular tours can easily be booked for the entire day! And speaking about booking, during busier times you might want to make a reservation for a restaurant as well as it can be quite busy.
The Leaflet can be downloaded here. Paper copies are available in the Tourist Info Office in Bowmore, distilleries and other places on the island.