Whisky Pilgrimage #2 Islay
The second whisky pilgrimage for The Whiskyphiles was non other than the ‘Island’. The island of Islay with its soon to be 9th Distillery is considered one of the spiritual homes of scotch whisky making. Islay has a reputation for producing some of the peatiest malts, due to its terroir. The peat on Islay used for kilning dry the malted barley is particularly high in phenolic compounds, bestowing a mass of peaty, smoky and other aromas and flavours to the barley and leading to some particularly powerful distillates. Since getting into scotch whisky we had become fascinated with Islay and desperate to visit its distilleries. Thanks to membership of the University of Edinburgh Water of Life Society, this dream became reality on 24th April 2014. Spending 4 days on Islay with 21 other whisky fans turned out to be one of the happiest times of our lives.
The itinery was as follows:
Thursday 24th April 2014
7.30am Departure from Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. Please do not be late, we may leave without you.
Actually we were collected at Livingston around 8:45 thanks to traffic on the Edinburgh Bypass being particularly sedentary
9.45am Leg stretch and shop perusal at Loch Fyne Oyster Bar.
Mmm smoked salmon and cream cheese filled bagel
11.00am Quick stop at Co-op, Lochgilphead for any food or drink. There is also a canteen on the ferry which serves hot meals for lunch.
Umm nope flew through Lochgilphead thinking we were the back-markers of the convoy and arrived at the ferry a very surprising 1st!
12.30am Arrival at Kennacraig Ferry Terminal for 1.00pm departure
3.00pm ARRIVE ON ISLAY!
3.30pm Tour and Tasting at Caol Ila Distillery
~5.00pm arrive at Port Charlotte Youth Hostel
Friday 25th April
8.30am Leave Hostel
After a hearty breakfast
9.30am Lagavulin Distillery Tour + Warehouse Tasting
12.30am Lunch at Ardbeg Distillery, followed by tour
3.30pm Tour of Laphroaig Distillery
Saturday 26th April
9.30am Leave Hostel
10.00am Tour at Kilchoman Distillery, Lunch & Walk along Machir Bay
2.00pm Bruichladdich Distillery Tour
Evening Presidents Tasting
Bonfire on the beach at Port Charlotte using a famous distilleries waste cask staves and a little of their peat to roast our marshmallows on.
Sunday 27th April
10.00am Tour and Taste at Islay Ales
11.30am Free time in Bowmore, visit Bowmore Distillery
2.15pm Leave Bowmore
3.00pm ferry, departing Port Askaig
~8.00pm arrive back in Edinburgh