Wednesday 21st of June and the start of summer. From time to time I take a look at the webcams from the Bruichladdich distillery and think of the wonderful times we had on Islay. Today (wednesday 21st of June) was however a bad day on Islay and in the west of Scotland. Very strong winds and lots of rain. The image on the left is captured from the Bruichladdich Distillery webcams. Sometimes a picture says more than a 1000 words!
Fine weather to visit the odd distillery and taste some fine drams!
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Quoted from the Ileach Newspaper: Islay’s major annual event, the Festival of Malt and Music, more than lived up to its well earned and world-wide reputation, by providing visitors and an increasing percentage of locals with fine portions of both malt and music. Even at the start of the Festival on Saturday 27th it was possible to overdose on the music being purveyed with Cliar in Bowmore Hall and Carol Laula and ninetyfiveproof in Bruichladdich.
With multiple appearances by Skerryvore, Deoch an Dorus, Islay Pipe Band, The Maverick Angels and Norma Munro and with singularly enthusiastic performances from piper Stuart Liddell, last year’s popular Friday evening headliners, Blazin’ Fiddles and the noisiest pipe band in the world, Clannan Drumma at Ardbeg on the Saturday.
There were, of course many events ancillary to the music and malt bits, such as the Texas Scramble at Machrie, the Clootie Dumpling workshop, Fishing and Bowling competitions, and it is testament to the enthusiasm and work ethic of the Festival Committee that these ‘smaller’ events contuinue to take place.
However, we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought that the population of Islay virtually doubled during this week for any reason other than Islay and Jura’s nine malt whisky distilleries. With the number of attractions at each distillery during their particular ‘open days’ it was obvious that it was not only the festival comittee that was working hard. Aside from tours with the managers and staff, nosing and tasting masterclasses, there were midnight tours, walks to the water sources, blending classes, special bottlings and numerous other delights for the avid and often far travelled whisky lover.
We have already had report of folks booking for next year’s event, many of whom have been coming for several years. Long may it continue.
With kind permission from The Ileach
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It is warm, 25 degrees celsius, when we leave Rotterdam on the Hull ferry at wednesday 10th May 2006. We look forward to going back to Scotland and specially Islay, but first we stay in Rhu house, Tarbert Kintyre, for two nights. The journey to Kintyre is magnificent. We travel through Teesdale and Northumberland, which is lovely with picturesque villages and remote valleys. That was quite a contrast to the busy roads through Glasgow but we manage to be in Tarbert on time and enjoy the hospitality at Rhu House. On Friday we did Arran with the little ferry from Claonaig to Lochranza and then it is finally Saturday. We have breakfast with people from North Wales, a lovely elderly couple who stay on Islay as well when we are there. The weather is still great and looks promising for the coming week.
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One great thing about Islay is that it is big, and I don’t mean in size but in the variety and numerous possibilities it offers. This year was already our third trip to Islay but we felt we missed a lot of information, places, wildlife etc. Therefore a trip with Jeremy Hastings from Islay Birding was the thing that was high on our “todo” list for this year.
We booked Jeremy for Monday the 15th and exactly on time, 09.45 he picked us up at our cottage near Ballygrant.....Read more here
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