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Send us your Feis Ile photos with the Malt Mobile

by Gareth     15. June 2012 15:40

We’ve been back for a couple of weeks now and we’re slowly beginning to feel human again after the rigours of our ten days on Islay.

This year’s Feis Ile was quite an experience, from the fabulous food at the Lagavulin dinner to partying with the Balvenie boys, Cask Strength, et al in our very own hot tub.

Since we’ve been back, we’ve also been enjoying the entries to our competition, some of which I have peppered throughout this post.

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Feis Ile 2012, Day 4

by Cat Spencer     29. May 2012 21:29

Wellity, wellity, wellity…as you may have read yesterday, our day began with the Balvenie Boys driving the Malt Mobile away from the Master of Malt cottage at 6.30am with minimal protest from me. It shall surely end with a dip in the hot tub.

Our day officially began at around 10am, with Ben rousing us by shouting, ‘wake up!’ all throughout the house. I did not find this pleasing. Justin had spent the early morning hours hoovering some foxy midges that had managed to creep their way into his bedroom, but didn’t seem to worse for the wear. More...

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Bowmore: The Darkest Night

by Gareth     4. May 2012 15:58

Magic happens on the darkest night according to Bowmore, and to prove it the company recently employed some of the dodgiest Scottish accents in North London to guide a group of slightly bemused drinkers through “a sensory-filled journey of exploration that conjures mystery, myth and legend.”

Some things are better in the dark. Nightclubs, hiding from people, sleeping… being Fred West… It’s an exhaustive list. Bowmore’s exploration of darkness and/or novel marketing strategies didn’t include any of these things, but we did get to try Bowmore 15 Darkest (do you get the theme yet? Do you?).More...

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Kilchoman Inaugural 100% Islay

by Master of Malt     20. June 2011 13:11
Kilchoman Whisky

Following our intrepid journey to Islay in May, we were invited back to brave the gale force winds and torrential rain to attend a very special event at the island’s youngest distillery.

We left early, and headed to Kilchoman for the launch of their new bottle, as well as a new limited edition, cask strength distillery-only number. More...

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Feis Ile – The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Seven

by Master of Malt     3. June 2011 11:27
Ardbeg Sign

Sadly, when we awoke on Saturday, we discovered that there had been “poorly defined ferry issues”. This meant we couldn’t attend Ardbeg’s distillery day, and instead we had to pack our things and race across the island to reach the morning boat. You can imagine our chagrin. It looked to be a great day and the weather was splendid, complete with blue skies and, for the first time in over a week, we were thrilled to see our tired bodies were casting shadows on the ground. This felt like a good omen for our Lord of the Rings-style quest home (in this case, back to the Shire). More...

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Feis Ile – The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Six

by Master of Malt     1. June 2011 12:20

Friday was Bunnahabhain’s distillery day...

As far as Islay distilleries go, Bunnahabhain is perhaps the least talked about among the Scotch cognoscenti, and whilst this is entirely unfair (due to the quality of the spirit), it is unsurprising in many ways. For a start the whisky isn’t particularly peaty, nor is not subject to any wild experimentation during production or maturation, and overall, well, it’s decidedly gentle. More...

Feis Ile - The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Five

by Master of Malt     27. May 2011 14:19

We drove over to Kilchoman early in the morning, knowing the Feis Ile bottling would be in high demand. We were right too, as the queue of excited whisky lovers took up the entirety of the visitor shop and all of one of the distillery buildings. It was obvious by the sheer volume of people that Kilchoman is in very high demand and we ended up queuing for almost 2 hours to pick up our bottles, it was all worth it in the end though…

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Feis Ile - The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Four

by Master of Malt     26. May 2011 15:49

After a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, black pudding, white pudding and potato scones, we left the cottage for Bowmore. There were only 100 bottles of Bowmore’s official 2011 Feis Ile bottling, so we didn’t worry about turning up too early; there was literally no hope of picking one up. In fact, the die-hards had been camped out since the wee hours for a prized bottle. It begs the question why they didn’t simply make more. Oh well. More...

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Feis Ile - The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Three

by Master of Malt     25. May 2011 13:36

By this morning, the weather had lifted, and whilst power had not yet returned to our quaint little cottage, we felt like our fortunes were changing for the better. With no means of cooking breakfast (or for Darren to make use of his ridiculously loud juicer), we headed out at around half eleven, and made our way to Ardbeg’s café for stomach-lining sustenance (which came in the form of a delicious crab chowder, followed by venison steaks). All in all it was good and hearty and just what we needed. If you’re ever on Islay, Ardbeg’s eatery is well worth a visit. More...

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Feis Ile - The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Two

by Master of Malt     24. May 2011 14:50

Well, as we write this post we’re basking in the warm glow of the candelabra, and the unforgiving light of a laptop screen, which is down to its last 20% of battery life. That’s right, there’s been a powercut. Just like the story of the optimist and the pessimist… The pessimist says: “this is terrible, it can’t possibly get any worse!” the optimist says: “oh yes it can…”


Right now it’s cold, dark, damp and miserable outside, but we’re soldiering on.


Today began promisingly, with Caol Ila’s open day, though the weather was not on our side. We parked on a grassy hill in force 10 gales, and were gracefully ushered to the distillery bus by what felt like a hurricane. We then drove down to the Caol Ila distillery, the most remote on the island.

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