Islay Festival Days Five – Seven

Islay Festival Days Five – Seven

Well, days five, six, and seven were a bit of a blur and not 100% whisky related which is why we’ll combine the posts here!  They were great fun with some great whiskies as you’ll see below!

Day Five
We went back to Ardbeg for our second visit and for our second tour hosted by Dougie which was to be a real treat. We snapped up the Ardbeg Day bottle and then set off to explore the Peat Bog with a few drams. It was another excellent adventure and we were fully entertained by more childhood and Ardbeg stories before having sandwiches, cakes and tea out of china cups on top of the bog. Oh, and we had a crack at peat cutting!  So what of the whisky we tried?

Ardbeg Very Young
Nose: despite being peated to 55ppm this was quite subtle on the nose with plenty of vanilla, nutmeg and oak
Taste: sweet, smokey, untypical of the 10 year old it would become with some developing peach crumble
Finish: dry, smoke, dying peat embers

Ardbeg Day (drank on the pier in Ardbeg as the drizzle came down!)
Nose: sherbet, smoky bacon, peat, charcoal
Taste: initial Werther’s Originals developing into more customary peat smoke and some lovely mature ham
Finish: tons of charcoal, massive finish, great to taste all afternoon and the falling rain added to the atmosphere – a great bottle with more joy than the gator in my opinion.

Day Six
No whisky tastings or tours booked today as Kilchoman sold out in about 4 minutes once the events went live. Still we made the trip to the farm distillery and bought the Feis Ile bottle- their first 100% Islay Feis Ile offering.

Kilchoman Feis Ile 2012
Nose: bags of apples, brown sugar and cantaloupe melons
Taste: smooth, youthful, long peat fire, the sherry influence of 4 weeks integrates well to the spirit.  It’s very clean and fresh Andreas a lovely mouthfeel
Finish: quite sweet with a long fading chili heat. It’s another superb bottle from Kilchoman and if there are any left it would be well worth parting with £75.

Day Seven
Not really much to report here on the whisky side of things. We negotiated the road to Bunnahabin before drinking a couple of drams of 12 year old and a lovely raspberry slush puppy made with the same spirit. Things then took a bizarre turn in the evening when we walked over to Laphroaig to see Abba-Delicious – a tribute act to a well know Swedish band! We weren’t going to finish the Feis this way so it only seemed appropriate to open some of our Laphroaig rent – a superb Cask Strength 10 Year Old just as we approached 1:00am.

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be adding some highlights, surprises and photos from the festival as well as some detailed reviews on just some of the once in a lifetime whiskies that we tried!  We’ll be back on Islay soon enough and hopefully we’ll be able to meet even more of you. Thanks to the Master of Malt crew amd the boys from Balvenie for following us around and making the trip much more enjoyable – maybe next year we could even win the nosing competition – but only if the guy from Japan has a flight cancellation! Slainte!

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