Bowmore – and a very good snifter of Islay Ales.

By on in with comments

I’ll be blunt.  It’s been an excellent day and I’ve had to type this the next morning as I may have had quite a few drinkies yesterday.  I’ve lost track of which day we’re on now of the Islay Festival and I’m also at the point that I don’t care.

However  – we continue on our quest to sample the most we can that Islay has to offer so we stop off at the Islay Ales open day – a micro brewery just north of Bridgend.       Located in a little courtyard with a walled garden nearby to Bridgend.    A nice selection of  ales on offer – the Saligo and Angus Og, two of our favourites.   Pity the toilets were so bloody hard to find located at the bottom of the garden in a shed :).    Whilst the guys are sipping ales the women are off seeing the weaving also near Bridgend.

Then it’s off to Bowmore for the main event of the day but not before we grab a burger .

We also stopped off at the Toy Library / community centre just before you get into Bowmore – which has a lovely view of the bay and also does huge teapots of tea and a nice selection of cakes.

At Bowmore we’re booked on a Masterclass – ‘Match made in Heaven’ which sounds like a good event,  Wolfgang and Ralf are booked on the Malts in the Vaults tour so we split up and go our own way.       The Match made in Heaven class  is a lovely combination of good food and good whisky put together to bring out the flavours of the whisky.   The Chefs are Craig Millar and David Kinnes and to give them their due – the food was sublime.

The Whisky and food line up was as follows :

12 Year old Bowmore with a pan fried scallop. vanilla espuma and crisp dried ham.   Sounds good doesn’t it.    Well it was.

We then moved onto the 15 year old Bowmore Feis Ile  2012 bottling (the 700 odd bottle one) – which is a lovely dram – however the Chefs have matched it up with Venison, red onion and beetroot marmalade.

Moving on we had a 17 Year old which was accompanied with a Mango panna cotta, lobster, basil and chilli sauce.     This was lovely, and I mean lovely.

I did tell you this one was lovely didn’t I ?   This one has to be bought – try it, you’ll get your five a day in a glass.

To finish with we had a special treat – the 1985 Feis Ile bottling for 2012.   Only 200 bottles were available and we’re sampling it here :    Very nice indeed, and what food to you put with something this special ?   Well it was a chocolate and whisky granche with raspberry tuilles.

A lovely masterclass which well presented with some great food to match the whiskies. It’s then off to the sampling room for some tasters, but after firstly getting friendly with one of the young ladies as we’re in need of trying the 25 year old which was very very pleasant.   We also try the Maltmans edition, which is definitely worth trying if you haven’t tried it, I say this as both myself and Al ended up buying a bottle.

Then it’s outside to watch both Skerryvore playing and the Islay pipeband who yet again performed flawlessly.

Then it’s off to the Lochside Inn for some great food and a lovely view over the bay.   However they’ve got one of the best collections of whisky I’ve seen for a long time and it seems that they’ve got both a bottle of Ardbeg Supernova and a bottle of Bowmore Voyage, so Al and Myself purchase a nip of them (there goes £40 :)) and we retire to our table to savour them with the others.      The Voyage is a lovely lovely exciting dram and very highly rated, but the Supernova just blew everyone away – bloody excellent seems to be the words of choice.

Dinner finished it seems that Skerryvore are also playing at the Inn this evening as a extra session over the last two days.   Al goes to have a chat with them as they’re seemingly playing at a German festival which Al and Wolfie have got tickets for the Saturday events, but only just found out that Skerryvore are playing on the Friday so they’ll miss them.

Anyway – the music was great, the dancing disorganised (not many foreigners know how to strip the willow) and the atmosphere was excellent.    A great evening, day, food, company and one I don’t know how we’ll top it in days to come.      I perhaps did have just a touch much to drink last night.

After all it’s the Whisky and Music festival and I certainly took part in both of them yesterday.


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