That's the Islay Festival 2015 almost over. The last event is the Final Fling tonight in Port Ellen and then we'll have to wait another year before the next festival, which will be held from Friday 20th May – Sat 28th May 2016. For myself the festival had a difficult start due to back problems earlier in the week but fortunately I was able to visit Kilchoman and Ardbeg. The weather wasn't all that great this year but the atmosphere on the island was excellent. Thousands found their way to Islay to join the festivities, have a great time, join the many master classes and collect the special "festival bottlings" which resulted in long queues at the distilleries. The restaurants were extremely busy and so were the campsites and other accommodations.
The last Saturday of the festival is traditionally Ardbeg Open Day, a special one this year as they celebrated their 200th anniversary, just like Laphroaig did earlier in the week. The weather was kind to us for a change today, it was pleasantly warm with some sunshine, much enjoyed by the large crowd in the new courtyard in front of the Ardbeg visitor centre. There was dance, good music, an ice bar, a fish van, Islay Oysters, a stall from Islay Glass Crafts, great drams and fabulous Arbroath Smokies. It was a lovely day! Continue reading...
By now most tourists have left the island, or will do so tomorrow. As I write this post the wind is picking up, the rain has returned and the evening ferry has diverted to Port Askaig due to adverse weather. Has someone forgotten to say to the weather gods that winter ends in March and not in May?
Anyway, the video below shows some impressions of the fantastic Ardbeg Day 2015. Enjoy.