As you may have noticed from the flurry of whisky posts, the end of May saw Feis Ile, the music and whisky festival on the sparkling Hebridean island of Islay. A small island with eight distilleries squeezed onto it, all flinging their doors open and welcoming the hoards inside.

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It’s probably a good idea to put those barrels behind bars.

I blogged each open day as I went along, as close to ‘live blogging’ as the whisky (and the less than ideal mobile signal) allowed. Now I’m back home, it’s easier to fit more than one picture to a post!

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Music by the truckload.

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Emergency assembly point with a view.

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A concrete block – can you please give it a fresh coat of paint guys?

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THIS is what a distillery should look like!

We arrived on Saturday and headed to Lagavulin before we even got to the cottage we were staying in. Sunday brought us the big party at Bruichladdich, while Monday took us to the rather grey and industrial-looking Caol Ila – surprising because I’d always thought of it as such a pretty little place. Needs a proper clean-up!

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A reminder that whisky-making is just beer-making with extra bits.

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Bowmore takes the garden seriously

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The raw ingredients – barley and peat.

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The paps of Jura.

Tuesday took us back down to the south at Laphroaig, and Wednesday saw us in the heart of the island in Bowmore. Out into the countryside for Kilchoman on Thursday and another good party for Friday at Bunnahabhain.

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Wharfside

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See that blue sky? Looks more caribbean than hebridean!

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This island has a lot of barrels. A LOT.

Just before we got on the ferry to head home, we got to spend a chilled morning at Ardbeg on the final Saturday. In all that time, we had more sunshine that is reasonable to expect in Scotland, a warm welcome literally everywhere we went, and of course some rather tasty drams.

  3 Responses to “Feis Ile 2013”

  1. [...] the end of May and this was our third time attending. You can read more about the various open days on Pete’s blog. This summary post contains links to a full post on each [...]

  2. [...] This Easter I ran a competition to win a Bettys chocolate badger and was overwhelmed by the popularity of the giveaway! I loved reading the responses to my entry question of which woodland animal people wanted to see similarly immortalised in chocolate. Following the competition, I arranged with Kelly Young (Engagement Manager for Bettys and sister brand Taylors) for Pete and I to pay them a visit on the way back from our holiday in Islay. [...]

  3. What a region to tour! While I’m not particularly a fan of Islay scotches (a bit smoky for my tastes, and I’d have to be in the mood for it), it must have been a blast to tour the Islay distilleries.

    I especially like your “raw ingredients” picture–very cool seeing where it all comes from.

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