islay trip day 3
Laphoraig, Lagavullin distilleries. Carraig Fuada Lighthouse.
Short 5min drive to Laphoraig this morning. We’d booked for the most extensive and expensive tasting this trip, for £28. We joined the regular tour of the distillery first. I must say, this is the absolute best distillery tour so far. Normal price of £3 is frankly undervalued. The guide was well informed, and the best things were: we got to try a small sample of the yeasty wash; we were allowed to put our hands inside the safe to catch a drop of the distilled product to taste; we also dipped our fingers into a freshly filled cask. Wow. And then on the regular tour there was a dram tasting of the 10 year old.
The advanced tasting, the Johnstone tour, involved tasting of 4 expressions: 10 year old, a 25 year old, a special festival edition and a superb, smooth, awesome 30 year old. Then we got a bonus, and I tried the triple wood. I can’t recommend Laphoraig enough. If visitors only have time for 1 distillery visit, this is where I will recommend.
Quick lunch back at the hotel. I had ham (it is Easter after all) and then back to the same area for the tour at Lagavullin. Ack, we weren’t allowed to take pictures. Apparently company policy. Weird. The tour was also good, I stuck my head inside one of the wash tuns and got a noseful of yeast and carbon dioxide, eeek. As it was just a regular tour the dram tasting was more limited. I had a distiller’s edition Lagavullin and a 18 year Caol Ila. The Caol Ila isn’t widely available so I purchased a bottle.
The weather had been crummy all day, rain varying between drizzle and downpour. Late afternoon the sun came out so we took advantage and drove to the southern tip. When the sun is out, the water is soooo blue and the island so picturesque. This is the Carraig Fuada lighthouse. There’s a faint rainbow at the center of the shot, towards the left.