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Islay Quilters 25th Anniversary

On Tuesday 31 January Islay Quilters celebrated their 25th anniversary with drinks and nibbles for past and present members. They gathered in the quilting workshop in Islay House Square while Chairperson and founding member, Rae Woodrow, toasted the success of the group which started after around 15-20 people answered an advert in the Ileach for a patchwork class in Bowmore Hall. From there, the late Sally Taylor advertised in the Ileach for anyone interested in a regular sewing group. Around 30 people turned up to the Harbour Inn in response to the advert and, of them, around eight remained.

The group would meet at each others houses and early on decided that would like to be creating something for charity, which is when the annual charity quilt tradition began. To date, the Quilters have raised over £15,000 for 25 different organisations on Islay & Jura through the production of the quilts and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

With quilts and wall hangings being produced, the group soon outgrew each other’s houses and moved to the Youth Hostel where they were able to lay out their projects to work on them. However, at the end of each session they had to tidy everything away and eventually realised that they would need a premises of their own. Continue reading....

Update from RSPB Islay

This year we will start focussing more on the RSPB reserves on Islay. We will provide better coverage on the farming and wildlife side of the reserve as well as inform you about all the organised walks and events that will take place this year. And there will be many compared to last year, including walks on Sunday morning. We have teamed up with Dave Maynard, AKA Botswana Dave, who is the Community, Information and Tourism Officer, based at Loch Gruinart. Dave will be writing regular guest posts on our Islay Blog to inform you about everything that's going on at the RSPB Reserves on Islay, at Loch Gruinart, The Oa and Smaull Farm.

A good way to start the new year is to have a look back at last year. Many things happened on the reserves on Islay and all the information, together with info from our neighbouring islands, has been collected and turned into an attractive newsletter. In case you haven't read it yet we now offer the possibility to download it directly from our blog by clicking here. In this newsletter for instance you can read more about the hen harriers which had a fantastic year on the reserve, with 6 nesting females, the best since 2007 and these fledged 12 young. There is also more info on the barnacle geese. They arrived en masse with an amazing 32,230 on the reserve on 20 October. An impressive sight, with huge flocks wheeling around moving between salt marsh and grass. There's also information on the upgrade of some of the paths to the American Monument and the Moorland Walk too, one of the most fascinating walks on Islay. So please stay tuned as Botswana Dave will do his best to provide his first guest blog around the end of March with loads of information for this year. Let's hope it's going to be a good one, for the birds, other animals and visitors of the reserve alike.

Tag: rspb

Jim McEwan to Work for Ardnahoe Distillery

I still regret the opportunity I had last year to take a photo of Jim McEwan doing the ironing for his wife Barbara, just after he was retired from Bruichladdich Distillery. It would have been a rather unique photo as Jim's retirement was of a very short nature. Jim is apparently not the man to sit still and do nothing as it didn't take him very long to accept a dream job with Hunter Laing & Co, at Ardnahoe Distillery. And this might well be Jim's most special job he has ever done as this is in fact the first time that he will help building a whisky distillery on Islay from the ground up. He will be involved in any decisions taken on the construction of the distillery as well as being responsible for the production of the first spirit and the selection of the casks. A unique opportunity, something most of us would leave retirement for.

Hunter Laing & Co, the Glasgow-based company – run by Andrew and Scott Laing, along with their father, Stewart – expects Ardnahoe to start production in early 2018. Construction works on the new distillery have started late last year. Ardnahoe distillery will be built in two phases. The first will see the establishment of distilling operations, warehousing and a visitor centre comprising of a cafĂ©, tasting room and shop. The second will see an expansion of distilling operations and further warehousing. Continue reading.....

Douglas Taylor New CEO of Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich Distillery are undergoing a big change in management as Simon Coughlin moves on from his role as CEO of the company. Simon, who has been part of Bruichladdich since 2000 when he and Mark Reynier, with a group of fifty shareholders, bought the dormant distillery and turned the whisky into the internationally recognised brand it is today. He took the position as CEO of Bruichladdich when the French, family-run Remy Cointreau Group bought the distillery in 2012, and has remained in the driving seat of the biggest private employer on the island until now.

Simon has been appointed another role within the Remy Cointreau Group as he takes over the management of the newly created ‘Whisky Business Unit’. The unit was created following the recent acquisition of two more distilleries and will comprise Bruichladdich Distillery, Domaine des Hautes Glaces (French single malts) and Westland (American single malts). Remy Cointreau said, “Simon will draw on his experience and avant-garde vision of the world of whisky to fulfil his mission of unlocking the full potential of the various brands. This ambition is very much in line with the group’s strategy; that of becoming the world leader of exceptional spirits.”

Douglas Taylor, currently Global Brand Director, will take Simon’s place as the CEO of Bruichladdich Distillery Company effective immediately.

Photo courtesy of bruichladdich distillery

Tag: bruichladdich distillery

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