#IslayRoadTrip Day 1

Day 1 (ish) of the #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi started a day before for them as they travelled to Glasgow via the Lakes Distillery and met up with myself late at night in a hotel in Glasgow, so I’m going to ignore that day and start with the first full day we had the 3 of us. An early morning wake up from the alarm (5am ish) was followed by a rush to get showered washed and changed and into the car to head to Campbeltown, a well needed pit stop for breakfast at McDonalds (we were there at 6am opening time) in Luss was made even more enjoyable by the crazy dog woman who wanted to chat to us.

Another few hours driving and we were arriving in Campbeltown for Distillery number 1 which was a very special look around the Glen Scotia distillery. It’s not easy to get a look around Glen Scotia and we’d like to thank Neil (@neilmackinnon1) for managing to organize this for us.

We had initially organized a 20/30 minute look round with Iain the distillery manager but he unfortunately had to run out and we had a quiet tour with Jim the stillman instead which was great to see such a small working distillery with none of the spit and polish of some of the big distilleries and a much closer look at what goes on.


First Distillery of the trip


Not hot at all, i promise!!!!!!


A very dangerous place to take pics supposedly.

We then shuffled across to Springbank distillery where Marianne took us for an intimate guided tour of distilleries 2 (Springbank) and 3 (Glen Gyle) before we headed down to the Cadenheads shop for some whisky sampling and a good look in the cage.

The cage is a selection of one-off 70cl sample bottles priced by age (up to 11yr £45, 12-15yr £60, 16-18yr £80 and 19yrs and up £150). It was a bit disappointing to find 17yr was the youngest available and none of the cheaper options were there (something to do with someone having pretty much bought them all earlier in the week) but I did split a 17yr Springbank that was a from a Fresh Port cask with Jon.


Springbank Malt Floor


Springbank Barley in my hand


Some hessian around a bung in the Springbank Warehouse


Glen Gyle Distillery

Then a mad dash back to Kennacraig to catch the ferry to Port Askaig was made just in time. The ferry was mostly pretty calm although quite blustery out on the decks the scenary was outstanding. Steve was also seriously happy after we had some Macaroni Cheese on the ferry (it’s supposed to be some sort of ritual or something).


MV Finlaggan


Would you believe it was sunny most of the time.

The Holy Land is reached.

And so we arrived on Islay and made straight for Bunnahabhain (Distillery 4) stopping at the famous cask signs to take some pics. It was here that there was an unfortunate trouser incident as I straddled the cask and felt the rip of my jeans from crotch to back, a quick strip at the roadside and change into other jeans, and a lesson learned not to straddle casks and we were on our way to the distillery itself.


Steve taking a pic of my Arse.

And so we made it to Bunnahabhain and met up with distillery Visitors Centre Manager Paul who gave us an in depth and very knowledgeable tour of the distillery before we settled down in the tasting shed for some drams and a good long chat before being joined by distillery manager Andrew. (many of the drams tasted are reviewed below).

Lots of discussion on what changes we, as bloggers and whisky fans, would like to see at the distillery were listened to and I’m hoping next time I head to Bunnahabhain that I will be able to pick up a bottle from a bottle your own cask.

For what it’s worth also, I love the fact the stills aren’t super shiny and polished, they have real character and maybe, just maybe polishing off the character isn’t a good idea.


Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old


Bunnahabhain barrels


The boys and Andrew


A selection of the drams we tried


So now we were getting hungry, so what else is there to do than stop off at the Ballygrant Inn and grab some food and a dram. Me being me I still managed to have a Jura whilst on Islay, enjoying some of this lovely 16 year old port ace’d Jura.



We then made our way to Bruichladdich to our digs, got settled and then went back out again to head for a beer at the Port Charlotte Hotel. One or two drams in there (Lagavulin Friends, Bruichladdich Cuvee PX) , although very disappointing to get them in tumblers and shot glasses, before heading back to our digs for a nightcap and the end of a very long very busy day.

For Day 1 (ish) I would like to thank the guys at Glen Scotia, Springbank, Bunnhabhain and Bruichladdich for their hospitality and for treating us to a very special time away.


Bunnahabhain 17 Year Old Westering Home

Bunnahabhain 17 westering home Part of the Bunnahabhain tasting after our tour during the #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi

next up on the list was the Bunnahabhain 17 Year Old Westering Home the cream of the crop in relation to this years Feis bottlings and what a dram it is, i really wish i had the money as they still had some of these bottles available at the distillery.

Thanks again to Paul and Andrew from Bunnahabhain for the wonderful tasting.

 

Theres some initial Minty menthol notes that come first and then lots of chocolate with hints of proper kettle chips seasalt crisps

Sweet menthol and mint with chocolate and lots of gentle spices with banana

Chocolate and mint omg yummy.

Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain 17 Year Old Westering Home
Age: 17
ABV: 53.40
Distiller: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay


Bunnahabhain Cruach-Mhona

Cruach Mhona Part of the Bunnahabhain tasting after our tour during the #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi

After completing the Bunnahabhain 18 and 25 which i've reviewed previously we jumped in for some Travel Retail expressions, with the Cruach Mhona which adds a little peat to the mix.

Thanks again to Paul and Andrew from Bunnahabhain for the wonderful tasting.

 

initially the nose here is quite Sweet but with earthy undertones and with lots of sherry sweetness which comes through with hints of chocolate covered foam bananas

Sweet sherbety and creamy and lots of sweet chocolate foam bananas

Sweet and sherbety

Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain Cruach-Mhona
Age: NAS
ABV: 50.00
Distiller: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay


Bunnahabhain Dram An Stiureadair

Bunnahabhain Dram An Stiureadair Part of the Bunnahabhain tasting after our tour during the #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi

next up on the list was the Bunnahabhain Dram An Stiureadair one of the two Feis Ile festival bottlings from this year and what a dram it is too, this is one i wish i'd managed to get a hold of myself without paying the silly auction type prices.

Thanks again to Paul and Andrew from Bunnahabhain for the wonderful tasting.

 

Oh my this is different it's got real Salty and sweet notes with smokiness and earthy notes also it's constantly changing on the nose with hints of sweet floral notes and parma violets

Salty and sweet with earthy notes and lovely floral notes and lots of violet notes, love this

Sweet and salty, like a mixed popcorn

Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain Dram An Stiureadair
Age: 10
ABV: 56.70
Distiller: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Cask Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay


Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine

 Eirigh Na Greine Part of the Bunnahabhain tasting after our tour during the #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi

next up on the list was the Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine which is the very latest Travel retail expression, not long since released on the world and one that i will definitely be hunting out a bottle of.

Thanks again to Paul and Andrew from Bunnahabhain for the wonderful tasting.

 

My first thoughts with this dram were of a soft sweet Popcorn wrapped in floral notes and lots of fruity juiciness with hints of floral gems the little midget gem like sweet.

Sweet floral yoghurty creaminess and lots and lots of sweet shop candy

Sweet candy

Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine
Age: NAS
ABV: 46.30
Distiller: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay


Bunnahabhain Toiteach

toiteach Part of the Bunnahabhain tasting after our tour during the #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi

next up on the list was the Bunnahabhain Toiteach which again adds that wonderfully smokiness into the sweetness that you expect from Bunna.

Thanks again to Paul and Andrew from Bunnahabhain for the wonderful tasting.

 

first up comes a Lovely smokiness with almost a lemon sole fishiness with burning cedar wood and hints of chocolate banana again in the background

Creamy sweetness with hints of chocolate limes and cedar wood and banana

Sweet and fruity

Bottle Name: Bunnahabhain Toiteach
Age: NAS
ABV: 46.00
Distiller: Bunnahabhain
Bottler: Bunnahabhain
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islay


Jura 16 Aced in Port Casks (Murray McDavid)

Jura 16 Port So This little cracker was tasted at the Ballygrant Inn whilst on my #IslayRoadTrip with Steve (@steveprentice) from Somerset Whisky Blog and Jon (@dvdbloke) from Scotch and Sci-fi

I really was glad to be able to try some really interesting drams on this trip and this was one that i hadn't seen before.

I really enjoyed this dram, so much so i will be keeping an eye on this popping up anywhere.

 

Lots of strong bourbony notes of vanilla and cask char with hints of red currant fruits popping in the background this is sweet nectar a lovel nose on this dram

Very easy drinking lots.of vanilla and butterscotch with a hint of red fruits

A hint of spice creeping in

Bottle Name: Jura 16 Aced in Port Casks (Murray McDavid)
Age: 16
ABV: 46.00
Distiller: Jura
Bottler: Murray McDavid
Type: Single Malt
From: Scotland, Islands


Related Articles

Jura 16 Aced in Port Casks (Murray McDavid)
Bunnahabhain Toiteach
Bunnahabhain Eirigh Na Greine
Bunnahabhain 17 Year Old Westering Home
Bunnahabhain Cruach-Mhona

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