Monday 20th August
Another bright and sunny start to the day , we decided to do one of our favourite walks today , the Bridgend Woods circular . Most of it is over hard track but the Claggan strip is through muddy pathways and it was muddy ! We didn’t see much wildlife on the walk apart from loads of butterflys – which seems to fly against what is been said on the mainland that the butterfly population is on the decline .
(Click on pictures to see full size image)
Just as we departed the Claggan strip and turned on to the Bridgend path the heavens opened and we got caught in a torrential down pour and got well and truly soaked ! After scampering (or squelching depending on which way you look at it ) back to the car we went home via Bowmore to pick some meats up from the butchers . After a change of clothes at the cottage and a change of weather – it went back to glorious sunshine – we paid a flying visit to port Ellen then returned to the cottage to see the day out……
Tuesday 21st August
Turned in to a bit of a whisky day today , woke up to sunshine again and headed off to walk along to Lagavulin for Pinkies now legendary warehouse demonstration . Got there in plenty of time to do the 9.30am distillery tour beforehand . Ruth gave us a very good tour before handing us over to Iain , also giving Iain a hand was Lagavulins recently appointed Local ambassador , David Woods , it was nice to finally meet David in person having spoke to him lots on Facebook . As usual Iains tour was as entertaining as ever and contained some great Lagavulins , Straight From The Cask ! We started off with New make then went onto an 2003 8yo Sherry cask , which turned out to be both our favourites of this tour . Then it was onto a 10yo refill sherry – which was actually a former Port Ellen cask – this one was still a little immature , the third cask was a sister cask to this years Feis Ile bottling , a 14yo , it was very nice but not a patch on the 1st one . The final dram was the current Distillers Edition (a 1995) . At the end we had a bit of a natter with Iain before setting off to Ardbeg for lunch (again) .
Once again we went for the Islay Crab Chowder to start followed by Salmon Fishcake . It was during the food that i decided i wanted to do a tour of Ardbeg (just for a change….) , Mel went back to the cottage after lunch while i headed off on the ‘Old and New’ tour with Dougie . After a comprehensive tour of the distillery we went off up to the Committee room on the top floor of the Old Kiln for a tasting . We started off with the 1981 Kildalton – A stunning Ardbeg – This was followed by the Ardbeg Still Young , then it was onto a 2006 Cask sample from a sherry cask , then it was onto a 2002 10yo 1st fill bourbon cask sample ( my favourite type of Ardbeg !) . At the end we were given the choice of 2 drams from the current Range , everyone went for the Uigeadail and Corryvrecken . It was a thoroughly enjoyable tour by Dougie , a good range of stories on top of the tour from someone who actually lived in Ardbeg Village in the early 60’s .
Then it was back to the Cottage to sober up…….
Wednesday 22nd August
Another sunny start to the day (don’t believe the weather forecasters….) , after a bit of a lie in we headed up to Bunnahabhain for a drive , it’s so nice to visit the place , even if sometimes the heart can sink at the state of the place but it was the scene of so many nice holiday memories . After catching up with Lillian we headed back to Bowmore calling in at the Perabus Pottery and Ballygrant Inn on the way . In Bowmore we picked up some Spirited Soap for home and a copy of the ‘Islay Edition’ Monopoly (had to , WBRNT !) . Then it was back to the cottage…….