Islay is the most Southerly Island of the Scottish Hebrides and is home to no less than eight whisky distilleries, nine if you include the Jura Distillery which lies on the neighbouring island of Jura. This has twin mountains overseeing Islay known as the ‘Paps of Jura’. Islay on a bright sunny day could be a Caribbean island with long sandy beaches a relatively flat landscape; this is truly beautiful part of Scotland. The name Islay means in Gaelic the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’ and was once the political centre of the Hebridean islands.
However those bright sunny days are seldom as anyone from Scotland will testify, so if there on holiday and the rain comes in you can choose to visit some of the most popular whisky producing distilleries in Scotland. Strong brand names such as Lagavulin (my personal favourite), Laphroig, Caol Ila, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Bunnahabhain and new entries such as the Kilchoman which opened in 2004. It has not been all plain sailing for the whisky distilleries of Islay with many having opened and closed down over the years including Port Ellen, Port Charotte, Lossit, and Daill to name a few.
As most whisky (or scotch) fans worldwide will be aware Islay is famous for its peated whiskies which give a smoky taste. Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Lagavulin have large followings worldwide however it is not only the smoky variety available here. Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich produce less peated varieties and Bruichladdich in particular produces more exotic varieties including using rum casks.
Islay is popular with tourists due to the favourable weather conditions in Spring and Summer with many coming from the USA, Japan and Scandanvia to play golf and drink whisky or scotch or whiskey if you prefer.
|Braes of Glenlivet||Laphroaig|
|Port Charlotte||Port Ellen|
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