Tag Archives: Islay

Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila – Islay, Scotland

Stop number four on our whiskey trail was Bunnahabhain distillery. There’s a long narrow road down to this area. We think some nearby houses are for distillery workers. 

Stop number five was nearby, the Caol Ila distillery. 

What’s distinctive about Islay whiskey you may ask? It’s the peat.  There’s a smokiness to Islay whiskey that makes it quite distinct from other whiskey in Scotland. 

Random adventures – Islay, Scotland

We were truly out for a drive as we drive all the way to Portnahaven just to check it out. 

More driving took us to Finnlagan, the former seat of the isles. It is situated on an island in the middle of a lake, quite a beautiful setting!

Port Askaig is home to one of the two ferry terminals on Islay. I’d recommend booking ahead of time. 

Ardbeg & Bowmore  – Islay, Scotland

Stop number two during Islay’s weeklong whiskey tour – Ardbeg. They have an excellent restaurant here and lots of parking so it makes for a nice stop. You can also get your photo taken with a large still! You’ll notice they had one whiskey named after the Kildalton cross. Ardbeg turned 200 last year (2015). 

Stop number three – Bowmore. We went into the tasting room here which had a small terrace area. 

Lagavulin & Kildalton Cross- Islay, Scotland

Have you ever seen Parks and Rec? This is the distillery that Ron Swanson visits. 

Lagavulin was stop one for us during Islay’s weeklong whiskey festival. They turned 200 this year (2016). We just happened to pick the day they were releasing their special offering to visit. There was already a long line of people waiting to get their 125 GBP bottle. You have to realize that the roads tend to be one way with passing places so to have that many people in one place caused some problems for parking and passing. 

We were signed up for a whiskey food and tasting master class and made it just in time. The instructor had us start off drinking a smokey whiskey. Then we put a mint on our tongue and had another sip. The smokiness disappeared! We matched our various whiskies with an assortment of food. It was quite a treat for our taste buds. 

Wandering around the grounds, there was a bag piper, food offerings, and a crafts area. 

We walked along the rocky shore to the castle ruins for a great view back on the distillery. 

After our visit we decided to keep going on the road. This random adventure allowed us to meet a peacock, find the Kildalton cross and ruins, and find an honor system coffee, cake, and tea stand. We seemed to peak the interest of some nearby sheep as well who came to take a look.