Then this past weeked, Reese and I took a holiday with our friends, Ruth and Kaleb, to Isle of Islay where we tasted some of our favorite whiskies at their respective distilleries.
The first day, we tasted whisky at Bruichladdich (brook-laddie). If you're looking for an unconventional whisky, look no further. Though each bottling boasts of the flavors from bottlings past, each bottling is achieved by a unique blend of their single malt casks. For instance, my favorite whisky made at this distillery is called the Classic Laddie. Some years it might be only made from ex-Bourbon casks while others they might blend ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks together to get their desired taste. And because they're blending different finishings together, it's still a single-malt whisky.
After Bruichladdich, we took a ferry over to Isle of Jura. I was particularly excited about this stop. The island itself is sparse and beautiful. The ground is painted with rich, amber soil highlighted by dormant heather bushes. We drove down the island's single lane, two-way road until we reached our destination, Jura Distillery. It's the home to my favorite whisky, Jura Origin. As Jura recently released a whole new series of bottlings so my beloved Origin will soon be non-existant. However their new line is equally delicious.
If you'll be in town for a meal, stop at the Jura Hotel for a bite before catching your ferry back to Islay.
On our second day of whisky tasting, we lucked out with some amazing weather. We were headed to Lagavulin, Reese's favorite whisky. Their grounds are picturesque. White stucco buildings with dark roofs ordained with plants potted in old whisky casks. Nestled in Lagavulin Bay, the Lagavulin Distillery looked out on castle ruins and wee cliffs leading into the bay. On a day like this one, the view hardly gets better.
I adored our time in Islay and could've extended my stay. I loved seeing all of the small, coastal towns and the rugged terrain throughout the island. For me, it is idyllic and quintessentially Scotland.