The Whisky Tasting Club

Day 8. Sat 28th. Ardbeg

Last day on Islay for all of us, Pat and Bex caught an early flight and we were booked on the 6pm ferry. We were reticent about today. The forecast was grim and it felt like we would have to hang around waiting for the ferry, the earlier sailings being fully booked. As it turned out we had one of our best days. We head off to Ardbeg (our fourth visit there!) and joined the festival bottling queue. Arbeg had once more made a big effort, this year with a spanish theme, because their festival bottling is sherry matured. This was the best queue yet because they were dishing out free samples to those waiting. There were double the bottles to last year and enough to meet demand, so it was all very relaxed.

The sun was now shining, and although not balmy it was turning out much better than expected. They were selling drams of their current expressions (£3 for a double supernova or corryvreckan), the seafood guys were there with excellent oysters (go well with blasda) and scallops, and there was a bucking bronco ride. They also did some boat trips and a barbeque on thursday. So we spent a few hours milling around, chatted to the CaskStrength.net duo (who seem like very nice blokes) and sampled the wares. Unfortunately didnt get a chance to chat much with our reader Martin who was booked on a boat trip. Shame that martin, maybe next time.

Michelle maintained I was a bit squiffy at this point, so we proceeded slowly to Laphroaig where they offer free coffee. I manfully resisted the free dram readily offered, and drank water and coffee. Sobering up from excess Ardbeg whilst lounging on the seafront at Laphroaig topped off an excellent morning.

In the afternoon we went for a circular walk at the American monument on the Oa. Really spectacular views, definitely worth while, takes about an hour. Then a quick stop at Finlaggan before the ferry. Actually the third time we had been here, but on both previous occasions it was too grim to get out of the car! Ferry to the mainland, and our Islay trip was over. Really enjoyed the week, not sure if we will make it next year but will definitely be back again at some point.

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