Bruichladdich, or the weather gods, or Simon Coughlin or whoever, pulled it off again. Another sunny Bruichladdich open day and a very well organised one I must add. Adam Hannah did his first master class this morning and I have been told he was a very worthy successor of Jim McEwan. It must have been difficult for him to do a master class in front of more than 200 people. Well done!!
Around 9.30am the first people were queueing outside the distillery and they were fortunate as the sun was shining brightly. In the meanwhile the Dutch tall ship Thalassa had moored at the pier. The gates officially opened at 12.30 and the day was started by Simon Coughlin. For some reason it seemed less crowded compared to last years, perhaps the area in which everything took place was larger as a few tents were placed at the back of the distillery.
There were a lot of stalls with food and drink and an RNLI cafe. The Octomore beef burgers at the BBQ were donated by James Brown and its proceeds will go to a local charity. I believe it was the Islay Museum, correct me when I'm wrong here. At the back of the distillery was the Botanist Tent, filled with the very botanics the gin is made off. A delicious experience as quite a few herbs could be eaten. Ailsa told me they were "eating her tent". Continue reading...
The courtyard and stage played the main part today as Bruichladdich had organised a fabulous line-up of bands. The Whisky River Boat Band kicked off the Ceilidh with fabulous songs followed by the Maverick Angels, another fantastic band, followed by Skipinnish, one of the best bands in Scotland. They turned out to be the highlight of the day together with "The Blueswater" who quickly managed to fill the dance floor with their fabulous blues music. In between the bands on stage our very own Islay Pipe Band played their amazing tunes surrounded by hundreds of visitors.
Another star today was Angela Paterson, I wrote about her earlier this year. Angela was introduced as a talented, beautiful woman with the voice of an angel. After listening to her songs and seeing her on stage one could only agree. And just as it so happens, Angela launched her new CD today which will be available on iTunes, Google Music and shops on Islay. For more info visit Angela's Facebook Page. Ella Edgar and her Highland Dancers were present and the girls gave a fantastic performance and so did the Line Dancers.
You probably know that Bruichladdich has something with Yellow Submarines. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you've probably seen my picture of the Yellow Submarine. Today, during the auction, Simon Coughlin revealed that Bruichladdich managed to actually "buy" a Yellow Submarine on Ebay which will replace the still in front of the distillery. The auction, where several rare bottles of Bruichladdich WMD (Whisky of Mass Distinction) were auctioned, raised well over £3,000 for the Islay and Jura sick children fund. A very generous move. Also generous was pouring two six litre bottles of that same WDM whisky to the audience by Allan Logan and Adam Hannah. Bruichladdich likes to do things different and we love them for it!
And with singing "Auld Lang Syne" by Skipinnish this fantastic day ended. I don't know what Bruichladdich has with sunshine but after the closing tunes of Skipinnish the sun stopped shining as clouds came in from the west. I just wish it could be laddie day every day. Thanks everyone!
Angela Paterson on stage with songs from her debut album
Ella Edgar's Highland Dancers
Dancing with "The Blueswater"
Adam Hannah Pouring drams
Proud owner of the empty six litre bottle
Dutch Tall Ship Thalassa