Ok, so, I’ve already written notes for day 2 on Islay, but my buggering iPhone didn’t post it and then deleted it, grr. So shorter notes below as I try remember what I got up to…
First stop, Bunnahabhain! A premium tasting tour, all to myself! Plenty of staff around being busy and saying hi as me and my tour guide wondered around. A nice distillery, a touch bigger than I thought it would be, and in a very picturesque location looking over to Jura. We ended in the tasting room where I tried:
- Darach Ùr
And… Especially for me, the 25 (which is normally only available on a managers tour).
Next I hot footed it over to Caol Ila to get the tour that I missed out on yesterday (see previous blog). Yet again, just me on the tour, so just me and the lovely tour guide (sorry, forgotten your name!). Literally just me and her… The place was really impressive in its own way, but so empty of people; modern and automated, I think it basically took one man to keep it going from behind his office desk, in his new little office that had been built in the still room while the distillery was closed at the end of 2011.
As for drams… I pretty much had everything yesterday (see previous blog post), but they let me try Moch, Cask Strength and Distillers Edition, all very good, and I think completed most of their line up for me.
Lastly, a trip around Bowmore. Interesting tour, and a really switched on guide… This time there was 10 of us, by far the busiest tour so far, but I was impressed the guide remembered my name from the outset and seemed to look out for me. Only downside, no pictures, although not at all enforced. Bowmore malt 20% of its own barley, so it was very interesting walking around the maltings and going into the kiln. After the tour was complete we went to the tasting lounge (where I found Claire happily sitting looking at the great view) and had some drams. My memory’s are already going as it was yesterday, but I think I had:
Feis Ile 2009 (9yr)
(possibly others, I forget now)
I’ve got to congratulate Bowmore on the tour, the price, and how willing they were to pour good size drams.
After I was done we headed off to meet Andrew from The Bowmore House, a legend! Great to meet him and see his B&B, if you’re going to Islay you should consider staying there! He provided me with a much needed cup of coffee and a break. 😉
In the evening off to the Ballygrant Inn for a great evening meal… A relaxed evening shared with James, an airline pilot who was having a long holiday and cycling all around Scotland, his next stop was Barra (via Oban)! Had a Bruichladdich 18yr, and an Indy bottling of a 22yr Bunnahabhain. And a Saligo Ale by Islay Ales. 🙂