The Northern Distilleries and Back to the Mainland - Edinburgh and Islay

The Northern Distilleries and Back to the Mainland

Friday 7th September 2007

A tour around Caol Ila and a quick visit to Bunnahabhain in the morning, before getting back on the ferry and returning to the mainland in the afternoon. Spent the evening in Inverary on Loch Fyne.

Edinburgh and Islay

John's Pictures
Maison de Stuff

09:52:11 So this morning we checked out of our excellent B&B - Kilmeny - and I wanted to take a couple more pictures before I left, as it was just so lovely.09:53:59 The bathroom was rather fabulous as well.09:55:41 Chie outside the suite, inexplicably holding up her shoes.

09:58:23 The front of Kilmeny.09:58:57 Me with our suite in the background.10:10:04 First item on the agenda for today was to visit Caol Ila - a strong contender for my favourite Islay malt.

10:22:29 The distillery was rebuilt in the 1970s, so has a more modern industrial feel to it, but it is still a wonderful setting nonetheless...10:22:41 ....and offering great views out over the sound of Islay (from where the distillery takes its name) to the Paps of Jura.10:22:50

10:23:19 Chie and the Paps of Jura.10:23:40 Me and Caol Ila.10:23:46 ...and again, but with more sea in.

10:23:58 Apparently I was very keen on taking pictures of this boat!10:25:30 Looking into the still room from the outside.10:26:01 The Paps again - the cloud came down shortly after so we couldn't see them later on.

10:27:27 The waterfall at the back of the distillery, which provides Caol Ila's cooling water.10:27:33 Same again.10:29:35 The warehouse - although apparently there aren't actually many Caol Ila casks here (these are mostly matured on the mainland), and most of this is filled with Lagavulin casks instead.

10:30:00 A couple more shots of the still room...10:30:07 10:31:44 ...and a gate...

10:32:31 10:32:40 10:33:19

10:33:36 Nice portrait of Chie here.10:33:49 I rather like the bendy angle on this one.10:53:20 On the tour now - and here's an empty mash tun - apparently Fridays are cleaning days at Caol Ila.

10:55:25 The washbacks.10:59:14 Inside one of the washbacks.11:01:23 The mash tun again.

11:03:07 Here's the Caol Ila stills...11:03:15 I didn't actually get a picture of the famous view from inside the still room, but having seen it from outside you can probably imagine..!11:06:28 One of the two safes...

11:06:32 ...and there's the other.11:38:27 After leaving Caol Ila, we decided to go and take a quick look at the only Islay distillery we hadn't seen yet - Bunnahabhain.11:38:48 ...which again has a rather nice view out over the sound of Islay.

11:39:04 Two Bunnahabhain flags waving in the wind.11:39:54 A flag and the Paps.11:40:31 The familiar Bunnahabhain logo on the side of one of the distillery buildings.

11:40:37 I was basically taking a picture of anything with the distillery's name on it at this point.11:41:22 The stairs leading up to the little shop.11:41:50 These hoppers were feeding out draff (a by-product of the distilling process used as cattle feed) into this lorry.

11:41:55 can see the draff flying out here.13:17:18 Following a brief and very unrewarding inspection of Port Askaig, for lunch we retreated back to Bowmore, and tried out the Harbour Inn.13:17:32 View from the window of the Harbour Inn.

14:00:07 On the streets of Bowmore, Chie taking a random picture of me coming back to the car.14:00:10 ...and again.14:00:17 ...and again!

15:22:46 So we're on the ferry now, and about to wave goodbye to Islay - here's a rather unflattering view of Port Askaig (which doesn't have a whole lot going for it at the best of times).15:22:54 Chie preparing to set sail, and looking a bit glum about leaving Islay!15:24:34 Across the water, there's the little ferry that goes backwards and forwards between Islay and Jura.

15:33:25 We're off then, and you can see the other ferry has now crossed over to Port Askaig already.15:35:39 Here follows a load more boaty pictures which I'm going to struggle to write comments for!15:36:46 The wake behind the ferry.

15:41:20 15:41:35 I think there were seals on this little island off the coast of Jura here, but as always a bit hard to see in the photograph.15:51:27 One of the headlands of Islay here.

15:51:45 So that's Jura in the background then.15:52:16 15:53:56 We couldn't find a stable place to put the camera for a self timer shot, so had to instead settle for the old arm-reached-out self portrait picture instead.

15:57:13 The sun is really trying to break through the cloud here, casting Islay in an appropriately heavenly light.15:57:37 Chie taking advantage of the ample space on deck.15:59:26 My trusty little GPS receiver, which had provided an excellent service this week.

15:59:50 Again that problem with non-straight horizons!16:00:36 16:23:01

16:38:10 16:38:40 16:39:04 Erm, Jura perhaps?

16:49:15 I love the little Scottish flag at the front of the boat there.16:49:22 16:58:41

16:58:50 I rather like this picture of Chie poking her head out of the window (is that the right word for it?) here.17:00:28 17:00:37 Me and my GPS receiver.

17:00:46 17:02:26 17:11:28 Approaching the mainlnd now, and another patch of blue sky!

17:11:46 17:12:58 Very moody scene here.17:21:39 So here we are coming into the harbour at Kennacraig. Chie wanted to stay on deck to watch the guys throwing the ropes etc.

17:22:27 17:40:04 ...back on the mainland now, and Chie rather liked the look of this unusual church (possibly Ardrishaig?).17:40:12 ....that church again.

17:40:18 ...and again.19:09:19 We stayed the night in Inveraray, in order to cut the journey up a bit, and were both quite delighted with the tartan lift at the Loch Fyne hotel.21:21:01 Dinner at the George in Inveraray. It's a sham about the lighting here, as the interior of this place was quite fantastic - all old stone walls.

21:36:05 The food was excellent as well - fresh local produce and very reasonably priced. If only everywhere in Scotland had a place to eat like this!21:36:18 Me digging into my very good parpadelle with sauteed mushrooms. Delicious.22:01:00 Outside the George Hotel.

22:01:08 Very attractive exterior too.