We’ve lost Gareth. Poor chap had to leave on a jet plane early this morning and miss this day of wonderful days…drumroll please…
Ardbeg Day! Yes, my malty children, it was the day of Ardbeg, and after a long and luxurious lie in, we were fed a lovely fry up by Mr Ben and then lickety-split, back in the Malt Mobile to rush across the island and not miss all the festivities.
For on this day, Ardbeg held their very own Islay-lympics complete with discus throwing and sheep tossing. We began the day with a nip of the Feis Ile special bottling from Ardbeg, the aptly named: Arbeg Day (Release the Peat!).
Onward Malting solidiers! Marching as to…more drams. So many drams… We’ve done it again, we have! Had the bespectacled lads over from Cask Strength last night for ribs and more ribs. Ridley wasted no time in donning a dressing gown and topped off this debonair look with a martini. We soon all followed suit (swimsuit, that is).
Mr Ellefsen had once again outdone himself on the food and drinks front, so when my alarm sounded at 6 this morning, I was not a happy camper. Alas, we had to depart the beautiful and luxurious Al Linnean cottage by 10 AM, so an early start to pack, clean, and load the car was a necessity.
Categories : News
Thursday was Jura Day. It started far too early for any of our liking, and lack of sleep is beginning to play heavily on people’s sanity; that and the midges.
We left in a hurry to catch the ferry at 8.30am, at the other side of the Island. You know, over there.
It is not a long journey. In fact we reached Jura in about 4 and-a-half minutes, the malt mobile rolling off the boat and onto the rugged shore.Force of habit made us reach for the sat nav, to aid us in our navigation of the Island’s one, single track road. We were going the right way.
Categories : News
The clouds have rolled in. I blame the boys from Cask Strength who arrived yesterday and surely brought the cold and fog with them.
After last night’s pass out fest on the sofa, we were all up early (relatively) in order to arrive on time (relatively) to TWO (count them) two tastings: Bowmore at 11.30 and Kilchoman at high noon. After prepping another massive breakfast, Chef de mission Ben fired up the Malt Mobile for another high-speed tour through farm fields and past stretching coast line.
Wellity, wellity, wellity…as you may have read yesterday, our day began with the Balvenie Boys driving the Malt Mobile away from the Master of Malt cottage at 6.30am with minimal protest from me. It shall surely end with a dip in the hot tub.
Our day officially began at around 10am, with Ben rousing us by shouting, ‘wake up!’ all throughout the house. I did not find this pleasing. Justin had spent the early morning hours hoovering some foxy midges that had managed to creep their way into his bedroom, but didn’t seem to worse for the wear. More…
I’ll begin from the end and work backwards today as Balvenie has done a number on my brain and it’s the only way I can recollect the events preceding this moment.
I recall at half past six this morning, I watched as the Balvenie brand ambassadors drove away with the Malt Mobile. I apparently did not protest enough at the claim that ‘Ben said it was ok.’
Having survived the wilds of Edinburgh and a skin-of-our-teeth race for the last ferry to Islay from Kennacraig, we found ourselves settled in to our exquisite cottage on Islay quite nicely. A little too nicely.
We began the day with rare and glorious sunshine, savoury crepes for breakfast, and the promise of an exceptionally brilliant day. After a bit of admin work (you can’t keep a nerd from his computer), we were on our way in the trusty Malt Mobile—now sullied with the carcasses of many an insect— to the Bruichladdich open day.
I woke up, and removed myself from bed with the cautiousness of a man who has just undergone complicated surgery.
Unbelievable. Despite my memory rendering the last few hours in similar detail to a five year old’s picture of the Sistine Chapel, I was all right. Praise be indeed!
I congratulated myself on my iron constitution. Today would be a day of winding Highland roads and tight schedules. Not a day to be under the weather.
It all started so well. The Master of Malt Mobile was pimped, packed with drams and a simply outrageous selection of fine booze, and we were ready to go by 9.30am… not bad going I think you’ll agree.
We’ll be doing a bit of entertaining in Islay, so we packed our entire range of Vintage Cocktails, a selection of whisky and a few special bottles including Glenfarclas Cognac Cask, a single cask Ardbeg 1993 (more on this in coming weeks – yes – it’s going to be a new bottling from MoM), and a 28-year-old Port Ellen.
So – it’s that time of year again – Feis Ile, the Islay Whisky festival, time.
We went along for the first time last year, and despite several fates befalling us which wouldn’t have seemed out of place in the bible*, it was an absolutely awesome holiday strictly work-related event.
As a result, we’ve decided to go back again this year, en-masse for the full 8 days of the festval, starting next Saturday (26th May) and ending the Saturday after.