Last year, I made a pilgrimage to Mecca in the World of Whisky, that is on Isle of Islay in Scotland..
I got on Islay by ferry, coming from the Kennacraig near Tarbertu to Port Askaig in the NE part of the island, near Caol Ila Distrillery . To the east of Port Askaig around the isthmus and in very close proximity is Isle of Jura .
When I was picking up tickets at the terminal in Kennacraig vendor chatted with interest that I’m from Poland and where exactly. I was not sure what was that interest from, in the end we were in Europe – in Scotland, not in the distant New Zealand. The case found out after boarding on brand new m/v Finlaggan. It turned out that in 2011 the ship was built in Gdańsk Repair Shipyard. A very nice touch for a Pole abroad, especially since the ferry is neatly executed and does a really good impression.
Islay is an independant region of Scotch whisky. It is said to be the capital of peated whisky. The use of peat to dry barley doesn’t come by the design, it is rather by necessity. On the island there are no coal or gas and enough amount of wood, deposits so that makes an idea to use peat.
There are eight distilleries on Islay now: Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin i Laphroaig. In the past there were more of them, enough to mention famous Port Ellen, or Malt Mill.
In the next part – a vist to Laphroaig Distillery.