If I was prone to cursing like a sailor, this would be the week to go all out with as many expletives as humanly possible. The 31st annual Islay Festival is about to start and I am no where near. !#%&!!!
Chapter 8 in my book, Whisky Tales: Tastings and Temptations is aptly named “Dream Do Come True: Seven Days Thirty-two Whiskies” – my week in Scotland visiting distilleries and I never had to drive! Three of the days were spent on Islay. Truly three days in heaven. So now I relive the three days and pretend that I am at the Islay Festival and imbibing with all my fellow Islay enthusiasts.
While on this dream vacation, eighteen of the thirty-two whiskies were tibbled on Islay. I took some notes, not as many as I now wish I had. In fact, I wish I had tried more whiskies!!! Alas, the body will only take so much abuse before it screams back at me.
Here is a list of whiskies I enjoyed on Islay:
- Lagavulin 16 YO
- Lagavulin 2003 Distillers Edition
- Laphroaig 10 YO
- Laphroaig 18 YO
- Laphroaig 25 YO
- Ardbeg Blasda
- Ardbeg Renaissance 10 YO
- Bowmore 17 YO
- Bowmore 13 YO Craftsmen’s collection, Maltmen’s Reserve
- Bowmore 16 YO, Sherry cask
- Bowmore Legend
- Auchentoshan 14 YO
- Suntory Hibiki 17 YO (How did that get in the mix?)
- Island Storm 10 YO
- Kilchoman 3 YO – Inaugural launch
- Bruichladdich PC7
- Bruichladdich Rocks 8 YO
- Bruichladdich 16 YO Bourbon cask
- The most unusual thing I saw on Islay was the daily jaunt down to beach in front of us by the longhaired cattle. Cows on the beach – who knew!
- Actually standing in the Kildalton Cemetery and seeing a grave stone for the “Lord of the Isles” was amazing. The Ardbeg Lord of the Isles whisky is hugely fabulous.
- Drinking and dining in Duffies Bar at the Lochside Hotel while overlooking Loch Indaal was a high note.
- Hell, the ferry ride alone from the mainland to the Islay was a very moving experience as we caught first sight of the island and saw Port Ellen painted on the white washed building in the harbor.
If you EVER have a chance to visit Islay, do. If you are able to attend the festival all the better. While there, raise a glass for me!