Sunday, August 07, 2016

07/19 - 07/23 - Islay

For this years' birthday a got a voucher as a present for a flight to Islay. My first visit was back in 2013 and I enjoyed the trip (which brought us also to Campbeltown and Oban). This time it's an Islay only trip. It was obvious that I will stay at the Bowmore House, the booking was done quickly and luckily I found a flight at a reasonable price. Initially I planned to go on my own but when I asked a friend, he was more than excited about the idea and so he joined me for that trip.

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With the flight from Zurich to London Heathrow then another stopp in Glasgow before the small propelller plane reached our final destination: the airport of Islay. Slightly delayed but finally there after a total traveling time of approx 12 hours. We've been picked up at the airport and found us soon sitting at the dinner table with a load of fresh Islay oysters and a nice Bruichladdich in the glass! What followed after the oysters was simply mindblowing: lobster, langoustines, cray fish, mackerel and scallops. Of course all accompanied by more Islay whisky! Top quality hospitality as I knew it already from my first visit here!

After dinner we took the chance for a little walk which felt really good after the traveling... especially as we'd a very nice day with a lot of sunshine there.

The next morning started with a full Scottish breakfast and a whisky to kickstart our morning... we already had plans for our first tour of this visit, the "Water to Whisky Experience" at Laphroaig but decided spontanously to spend a quick visit to Bowmore before. All the distillery visits, tours and tasting will be the topic of different blog postings, one post for each day, so stay tuned.

After we came back in the evening from Laphroaig Andrew had prepared his version of the Bowmore House Burger that I will also prepare at home to use it in my new burger book. And of course we enjoyed some whiskys together with Andrew... a nice evening for sure...

Thursday started early too and after a good breakfast with scrambled eggs and salmon I made a little walk up to the Round Church and had a can of Irn Bru while overlooking the harbor area. BTW: if you have a hangover... Irn Bru and walk will help you definitely... not that I needed it...

After the tours and tastings at Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich we went for dinner to the Lochside Hotel and thought about having some drams at the bar later. I remember that they had a really good range when I was there 3 years ago. The food was very good but the whisky selection was a bit boring, therefore we changed the location to Lucci's, the bar of the Bowmore Hotel just around the corner.

On Friday morning we again decided for a full Scottish breakfast to have a good base for the day as there were some more tastings and whiskys waiting for us. Sensory tating at Lagavulin and after that we made the "Deconstructing the dram" Tour including a nice amount of drams at Ardbeg. After my disappointment at my first visit this experience was definitely much better!

The evening program was the same as the night before: dinner at the Lochside Hotel and some more drams at the Lucci's, a place that I will miss when being back in Switzerland... their range of whiskys is amazing!

On Saturday morning it was time to catch our flight back home, another long trip for that short distance.... but it's worth it! Islay, I will come back for sure!