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Islay Whisky Region Scotland

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This evening, I am continuing with my Scotch Whisky theme via some comment of the Islay Whisky Region.

The island is pronounced Eye-la and situated off the west coast of Scotland on roughly the same latitude as Glasgow. Historically, the island was a power base for the MacDonalds when 'Lords of the Isles' but that came to an end in the 15th century.

Islay's main claim to fame now is the famously peaty whisky produced here by seven of the eight distilleries on the island. The vibrant whisky industry is influenced by abundant supplies of peat (decayed vegetation used as fuel) and water which help to produce a range of classic malts from:

  • Ardbeg (Founded 1815 and located at Port Ellen.) Produces a 10 yr old and a 17 yr old.
  • Bowmore (Founded 1779 and located at Bowmore.) Produces a 8-10 yr old, a 12 yr old and a 15 yr old.
  • Bruichladdich (Founded 1881 and located at Bruichladdich). Produces a 10 year old, a 15 yr old and a 20 yr old.
  • Bunnahabhain (Founded 1881 and located at Port Askaig.) Produces an unpeated malt, chiefly for use in blends. Single malt is a 12 yr old.
  • Caol Ila (Founded 1846 and located at Port Askaig).Output mainly used in blending but does produce a 15 yr old single malt.
  • Kilchoman. A new distillery which produced its first spirit in 2006. First 3 year old produced in 2009.
  • Lagavulin (Founded 1817 and located at Port Ellen). A sister distillery to Caol Ila. Output includes a 16 yr old.
  • Laphroaig (Founded 1815 and located at Port Ellen.Products include a 10 yr old cask strength and a 15 yr old.

I have toured Islay a couple of time in the past, in context of ancestry themed tours. The Loch Finlaggan historic site (Macdonalds) is definitely worth a visit.

Looking forward to visiting the distilleries next year.

Islay is accessible by air from Glasgow or by ferry from Kennacraig.

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posted by Catswhiskers @ 1:19 PM 

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