Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Isle of Islay, Scotland: Laphroaig & Lagavulin Distillery Tours

Hey, I was totally wrong with my initial thoughts on visiting whiskey distilleries. We did tours and tasting with two of our favourite ones Laphroaig and Lagavulin. Others we visited briefly which was totally worth it because you'd always get a wee dram when you went in. (That's scottish for a little glass of whiskey!) The Laphroaig tour was really good. Sam was in his element and I was genuinely interested! hah. We learnt the process from the very start where we got to taste the grain in different stages. We even got to stand in one of the areas where the grain will get smoked to give the whiskey it's peaty have no idea what I'm talking about do you???!! No me neither! I'll stop there and let the pictures speak to you...

The above photo is when we got  to try what is called 'wash'. Its whiskey before it's distilled and it tastes like warm beer. Ugh.

A quick photo of Jura when we drove past and Sam waiting for the tasting session to begin!

The Laphroaig tasting was particularly good because we got a little nibble with each different cask strength. Sam, bless him, was brave enough to try to Roquefort with the first taster and he HATES cheese. He did so well except I had to laugh because we washed it down pretty quickly and topped his water glass up a few times. 
Here we tried the 10 year (Sam's favourite), the Quarter cask (my favourite) and the 18 year. We bought a bottle of Quarter cask to bring home with us since we both liked it.
The Laphroaig distillery is well worth a visit if ever you visit Islay and I would definitely do the tasting tour.

Next stop and also note, next day, we visited the Lagavulin distillery. I prefer this over Laphroaig because I think it tastes sweeter. Also, most of the distilleries are painted white on the building with big black bold lettering so that when you're coming in on the ferry you can see them from far off. 

There were no nibbled with the Lagavulin tasting but we did get to try whiskey straight from the still before it is casked. It was amazing actually tasting whiskey that way and fun to learn that it's the cask that gives the whiskey it's colouring not anything that is added to it. The tasting took about an hour and we had such a fun group of people on tour with us.
I've now got a new appreciation for whiskey and a husband who wants to make his own at home...

SO fun and so worth doing!
We managed to have a quick visit to Bowmore, Caol Ila, Ardbeg and Kilchoman too.

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