Islay Festival Diary Saturday - Ardbeg Distillery and Port Ellen

Ardbeg Distillery hosted the final distillery Open Day of Islay Festival 2009 on a sunny Islay summer’s day. Here were tastings in the Old Malt Barn with manager Michael Heads, an innovative ‘Twisted Tastings’, where those who attended chose five whiskies from the Ardbeg menu to taste. Michael gave an entertaining and informative commentary on the choices, and all who attended thoroughly enjoyed this new style of tasting. Throughout the day there were distillery tours, Deoch an Dorus played Scottish and Gaelic music, there were Scottish-themed lunches in the Old Kiln Café and Island Games on the Ardbeg Green during the afternoon. The International Tug-of-War was contested by several teams of five people; each pair of teams in turn pulled with all their might, but the Ardbeg home team bested them all. Generous in victory, the Ardbeg team gave their prizes - bottles of Ardbeg, of course - to members of the Jocks, the second-placed team.

Celebrations were held on Port Ellen Village Green this afternoon, with performances by Black Bottle Islay Pipe Band, and lots of activities for the kids. There was line dancing, a street-dancing workshop with Paula Davidson, obstacle races and games, bouncy castle, and face painting; all the makings of a fun afternoon for all the community and visitors. Image courtesy John Campbell on twitpic

Open Fly Fishing competiition for the Black Bottle Shield was held at Loch Finlaggan,1-5pm. The Final Fling in Port Ellen saw out the last evening of the Festival, with dancing to local band, Contraband at the Ramsay Hall Port Ellen, strictly for over 18s.

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