Well…in spite of a tumultuous ride of late (or perhaps because of it?), a small contingent of us are indeed bound for Islay in a few weeks. Long time readers will likely recall both 2010 and 2012 excursions to this land of bog and brine, as those were documented day by day, but perhaps less glamorously documented were the rainchecked trips scheduled for 2014 and 2015. Suffice it to say, this four year break between visits to my ‘home away from home’ has been far too long.
I’m pretty clear about my biases here on ATW. My love for Islay, its malts and all its trappings are well and truly acknowledged here. It should come as no surprise that this little island feels like home to me. I’ll go one step further: in a way it’s really the only place on earth where I feel completely relaxed and at home. I was a kid who moved a lot, and have either maintained that nomadic tendency throughout adulthood, or settled for spells in places that held little appeal. This comment greatly offended my wife at one point, so let me clarify: emotionally, home is wherever my family is, of course, but geographically (and sentimentally, I suppose) home feels more like Islay.
The people are great. The land is beautiful. The pace is slow. The air bracing. Life…just seems to make more sense there.
Anyway…time to start documenting things here. Feel free to read along as we go, or wait for the reviews and such in between.
39 days ’til wheels up.
I am absolutely ecstatic and totally jealous of you and your travelling companions for this trip to Islay. I am proud to say that my wife and I were very fortunate to be able to visit this amazing little island 3 years ago as well. It also feels like home to me, as it reminds me of my hometown of Prince Edward Island, with all the smells, sights and sounds of being on a small island, but with the added beauty of the many fantastic aromas of the eight distilleries on the island.
Please take many pictures and document your travels, we will all be sure to check in and see how things are going.
Here’s hoping you have an amazing trip, you deserve it!!!
Have a dram or two for me.
I’m heading to Speyside next August with some of my mates. I would’ve loved to go to Islay, but they prefer the sweeter stuff. Any insight into a trip to the whisky trail?
hir Dave you should insist to see Benriach, Benromach and Ardmore distilleries. They all do some peated malts.
Ardmore has a little peat in most of their runs and Benromach as well. But Benromach and Benriach do some heavily peated stuff.
It is not Islay but it is perhaps something to comfort you.
On some parts of the Whisky Trail you can walk from distillery to distillery … if you do not do to extensive tastings.
Should Glenfarclas be on the list or Glenfiddich then it is not far to the Speyside Cooperage. That should be an interesing hour or so.
In Aberlour there is the distillery and Walkers Biscuits close nearby.