It’s a sad day

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It’s a sad day that I have to write this.   We’re leaving Islay and the Islay Festival which is annoying in itself, what’s more annoying is that we’re leaving before the Ardbeg open day which takes place today.  Thankfully we had visited, done the tour, a sampling and managed to get a bottle of the Feis Ile.

Al, Wolfie and Ralf are bound for the airport enroute back to Germany. Smudge and myself are on the 9:45 ferry back to Kennacraig and H and Garson are on the 4pm ferry.     We’ve said our sad farewells at the house this morning (An Innis– great house, great views) and we’ve all parted company all bound for different destinations.

A word of warning that you may wish to think about if you’re planning on visiting Islay and you may have noticed that the Al, Wolfie and Ralf purchased quite a lot of nice whisky over the last week or so and I bet you’re wondering how they got them all on the relatively small plane back to Germany. The fact is they didn’t;  they’re all packed carefully in the back of my truck along with my purchases which over the next day or so is heading back to our home in Kent for an overnight stop then I’ll be heading over to Germany on Wednesday to do what’s been termed ‘The Whisky Run’.  Reuniting the owners with their prized possessions.

Having looked at the collection of whiskies we purchased through the week; I’d hate to think how much it’s all worth, one things for sure; we’ll all have a good time working our way through them over the coming years.

I suppose some thanks would be in order after such an excellent week;

Many thanks go to Al, firstly for being 50 and giving us the original excuse to ‘do’ the festival and secondly for helping to organise accommodation events etc.   To Smudge for always driving us home when some of us have had too much to drink. (It’s great having a wife that doesn’t like Whisky),   to Ralf and Garson; our new friends that have seemlessly joined a bunch of long term friends for the week and got on well with us all.     To H for her unique tasting notes which were generally along the lines of ‘Oh I like this one” (which she said at almost every whisky with a few exceptions).    To the many people we’ve spoken to, laughed with and met over the past week or so from Germany, France, Netherlands, California, West Virginia (Thank you again), Canada, Taiwan etc  – nice to make your acquaintance if only for a short period.

The main thanks must go to the Festival organisers and the Distilleries; for without them it would be another trip to a lovely Hebridean island but instead you organise a world class event hosting people from all over the world into your community and don’t think anything of it.  Thanks must also go to the many un-named people behind the scenes who help make the events run smoothly – we thank you. To all the friendly staff at the distilleries we thank you, to all the festival volunteers at the events we thank you.   No in fact, We thank you a lot and we’d like to thank you again next year as our planning has already commenced.

Lastly to the big fella in the sky who organised the lovely weather – Thank you.       I’ll get the other photos posted shortly.



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