Isle of Islay, Scotland,
United Kingdom, 19-21 May 2011.
Bowmore town (Click to enlarge)
3. My Breakfast (Click to enlarge)
Our 1 sqft plots! (Click to enlarge)
2. Jaya's Breakfast (Click to enlarge)
1. Scottish Breakfast (Click to enlarge)
Bowmore Distillery (Click to enlarge)
Laphroaig Distillery (Click to enlarge)
Next morning we had a full Scottish breakfasts at Lynn’s B&B about 200 mts down the road. An absolutely hedonistic treat. Freshest of local produces. For the first time we had Haggis, Tattie Scones, Lorne Sausages, Black Pudding and sundry other Scottish delicacies. All of the lovingly cooked and served by Lynn. We took our time over the gargantuan meal and relaxed over cups of tea with a pleasant view of the Bay beyond the dining room windows.
After breakfast, onwards for our whisky tour. Islay is home to the eight most iconic peaty single malts, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavaulin, and Laphroaig. You can reach some of the distilleries by public transport and you have to take a taxi or rent a car for the rest. You can find a local bus timetable here.
Our first stop was Laphroaig. I love their peaty, almost phenolic, single malts. Lynn very kindly dropped us off at the entrance to the Laphroaig Distillery for our 10 am appointment to tour the distillery. For the first time we got to meet the guys and gals behind the legendary brand. Got to see what they do to place that warming dram in my hand.
They make the distillery tour a fun event. I have been a "Friend of Laphroaig" for ages so the first thing they did was give the certificate to my square foot of land at Islay! We toasted to that with a dram of fine cask strength Laphroaig. Then they lent me Wellies and I went and planted a flag at my "plot". Back at the reception and onto the hour long distillery tour. Was mesmerised by the history, tradition and technology that goes into creating Islay Single Malts.
From Laphroaig to the town of Bowmore at the central part of the island. There was a bit of a wait for public transport. Beautiful views of the moors and peat with the Paps of Jura on the horizon. Those are the two small hills on the neighbouring Isla of Jura. Bowmore is a quaint little town with two main streets, an old round church and the distillery. British lunch at one of the many restaurants there and onwards to the second oldest Scotch distillery. Producing scotch since 1779. Our appointment for the Bowmore distillery tour was for 3 pm. Another fascinating tour ending with tastings. Its not only about learning how they make whisky. Its that overpowering feeling of experiencing history. Then there are the pretty views. See the pictures for a tutorial on creating single malts!
We used public transport to return to our flat at Port Ellen. Lovely opportunity to mix with the locals. Dinner that night was again at the Maharani. Next morning another round of leisurely sumptuous Scottish breakfast at Lynn’s. She then dropped us off at the airport for our mid-day return flight to Glasgow.
Note: I have created this blog on 20 Jul 2016, almost 5 years after my visit. However, I have checked and all that I have written is still valid today.
Getting my certificate (Click to enlarge)