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Ah, uisge beatha, the water of life.  Scottish whisky is a most wonderous thing indeed.  Good for curing most ills and fantastic for its own sake. 

I don't claim to be any kind of an expert but I know what I like.  Towards the end of an evening spent in good company (or even at any time), I can often be found sampling single malts. 

The web is full of information on the methods of whisky production so I will not attempt to replicate it in a reduced and pathetic way here, many whisky manufacturers have their own sites dedicated to trumpeting their paticular malt's virtues.  So I will just lead you through some of my own thoughts and preferences on the subject.

When holidaying in Scotland I have tended to find myself drawn to various distilleries.  Below you will find some photographs I have taken of them, most of the images are thumbnailed and therefore clickable for a larger version.

I have a particular like for the nice peaty, sometimes slightly salty malts from Islay (well worth a visit BTW, gorgeous place with just about a'thing you could want).  Islay is many things but one thing it is noted for is whisky having a total of seven distilleries:  Ardbeg; Bruichladdich; Bunnahabhain; Bowmore; Caol Ila; Lagavulin; Laphroaig.  I can't say that I have had an Islay malt that I did not enjoy.

If you like something that packs a bit of a punch then,  I would recommend a generous measure of Laphroaig 10 y.o.  This was one of the whiskys that I first took up with and remains a firm favourite.   Although having ssaid that, some people have said to me that it tastes a bit like fuel oil, having never drunk fuel oil I couldn't comment on the accuracy of that statement, still I enjoy it.

Laphroaig Distillery

Laphroaig Distillery, Islay

Moving East from Laphroaig along the South coast of Islay another distillery is soon encountered.  Lagavulin, the second of three distilleries all within 3km of each other.

Lagavulin Distillery

Lagavulin Distillery, Islay

The final of the three distilleries on Islay's South coast is Ardbeg.  Recently reopened by new owners after a period of closure.

Ardbeg Distillery

Ardbeg Distillery, Islay

Please also note, when visiting Islay should you venture on a walk out in the hills amongst the heather, mind out for the sheep ticks, they are little buggers so they are, quite annoying to remove, especially when staying in a tent.  Anyway I digress.

Islay's capital Bowmore, has one of the largest of the islands distilleries and produces a mighty fine spirit.

Bowmore Distillery

Bowmore Distillery, Islay

You could be forgiven from the way I go on that Islay is the only place in Scotland to produce good whisky but this is not the case.  I have enjoyed the intoxicating aroma and flavour produced in some other places.

The Glenturret

The Glenturret distillery near Crieff, I believe this is no longer available as a single malt since the entire production goes straight into The Famous Grouse, but it can still be found in some pubs who have some stock that has been sitting around for a while. (Sandy Bells, Forest Road, Edinburgh, had some left when I was last in).

River Turret

River Turret, nr. Crieff

I have also been on tours of the Tobermory and Oban distilleries.  Although these are not malts that I have regularly consumed.  They were most enjoyable and should I be presented with them again I would accept them without hesitation.  Although having said that I think it is true of most things.

Tobermory Distillery, Mull

Tobermory Distillery, Mull

Irn-Bru

Before I finish this section I must mention something that is almost always a requirement for me for any morning following an extended stay in any pub or  place where copious amounts of alcohol has been served.  Not that I am suggesting that people should go out and then later on find themselves somewhat preserved by the liquor they have consumed.  Everything should be enjoyed in moderation or something like that anyway, just in case my parents are reading this.  Anyway to the point at last.  IRN-BRU.  A fantastic drink at anytime, but particularly so when you have to get up, full of sugar and caffeine enough to revive an elephant (probably).  This elixir even got a mention in the acknowledgements of my University Honours project and dissertation.

A new feature to this section is what is currently available in our house.   This feature may be useful to our friends who might want to know what they will be enjoying in advance, of course if you wanted to bring something with you, it would be more than welcome.

Well that is just about all I have to say at this time, no doubt I will be back to update soon. Certainly I intend to add more general infomation as soon as I can get around to it.

Slainté
Andy

Here's tae us,
Wha's like us -
Damn few,
An' they're a' deid-
Mair's the pity

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Last Updated on Thursday 08 March 2012, at 15:16
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