4 distilleries and 4 tours and tastings done. 2 more left on the schedule.
After a short night we took the bus to the south end of Islay where Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg are located. After Laphroaig on Wednesday we made our first stop at Lagavulin where we had an arrangement for a special tasting that they just have for a short time due to their 200 years anniversary. The idea itself is really good, you receive a nice package with different samples of their range but unfortunately they didn't pour out anything else and you had to fill your own glas from those bottles. A wee bit disappointing to be honest but the tasting itself was an interesting conversation.
A 30 minutes walk brought us to Ardbeg distillery... some things changed sincem y last visit, you can definitely see that LVMH invests some money to keep the distillery nice and shiny. Good on one hand, one the other hand it's missing some of its morbid charme.
Before we went to Lagavulin in the morning we already made a reservation for a table for lunch in the Ardbeg Cafe, based on my experience from my last visit. We arrived in time and immediately took our seat to enjoy a really tasty lunch which proves why this place is always crowded with people who also come for lunch only.
The tour was also much better than my last experience I made 3 years ago. We decided for the "Deconstructing the dram" tour which includes a distillery tour and a warehouse tasting with different cask samples which are the base of the vattings for Ardbeg's core range. A very special and interesting tasting experience that I really enjoyed. A dram of Ardbeg's latest release, the Dark Cove, was also included, we had this dram in the sunshine with a view on the warehouse at the seaside...
For the evening we took the same program as the day before: dinner at the Lochside Hotel and drams at Lucci's Bar at the Bowmore Hotel!
It was an intensive and amazing trip! Thx to Alison and Andrew for being great hosts again!