I have three whisky related news items about Islay that popped up in the national media today. The first news item arrived in my inbox this afternoon and it probably did at thousands of other Friends of Laphroaig as well, 356930 to be precise. The email was about Laphroaig Live 2009 which will be broadcasted from Kentucky USA. John Campbell of Laphroaig: "We will be holding the event on Friday 25th September 2009 at 20:00 (EST - Kentucky time!). For anyone in Europe this will actually be on Saturday 26th September due to the time difference. As the broadcast is from the US the timing of the broadcast isnâ€™t ideal for our European FOLs but we have made the broadcast on a Friday so hopefully those of you who donâ€™t have work on Saturday will still be able to log into watch the show." Check out the Laphroaig Website for more information.
The second news item comes from the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. They have sold the most expensive ever addition to its specialist shop â€“ the limited edition Ardbeg 'Double Barrel', after being on display for just three days. Priced at Â£10,000, the two single cask bottles of Ardbeg 1974 are presented in a specially crafted guncase inspired by the age old tradition of a shooting party. The 1974 is the oldest and rarest of the Ardbeg single Islay malts, and only 250 of the â€˜Double Barrelâ€™ cases were ever created. The Ardbeg â€˜Double Barrelâ€™ went on display on Monday (17 Aug) with other rare collections in the specialist Scotch Whisky Shop within The Scotch Whisky Experience next to Edinburgh Castle. Continue reading.. Silo's at Port Ellen...
The third news item comes from the Press and Journal. According to this article there is a row because the grain silo's that collapsed at Port Ellen Maltings last year will be rebuild on exactly the same spot. I can imagine the feelings of fear the people in the neighbouring houses must have when Diageo will rebuild the silo's at exactly the same spot. I think it's a strange choice and although it's not likely to happen again one can never be too sure. So why not build these huge silo's somewhere else when they still have a choice? It would give the people some piece of mind, they already have to live with the smoke that the maltings produce whenever the wind comes from the wrong direction. According to the article Argyll and Bute Councilâ€™s planning committee yesterday gave the go-ahead for the new silos, despite a petition signed by 98 people objecting on health and safety grounds and six letters of objection from the neighbours at Bay View and Antrim View.
Niall Colthart, of 9 Bayview, said: 'It was purely by the luck of God when it fell down that nobody was killed or injured. How they can justify putting them back up there even with health and safety conditions, is beggars belief.' Councillor Bruce Marshall said: 'It is terribly important that this firm is able to continue producing whisky on the island.' Mr Kerr, Senior Planner of Argyll and Bute Council said: 'Unless they can replace the storage facility they have lost they will have to import processed malt from the mainland to support whisky production on the island.' The same Mr Kerr said that 'siting them anywhere else within the maltings would mean considerable extra cost and operating difficulties for Diageo.' Do I read it correctly here? For me it says that mighty Diageo simply won't spend a little extra money and effort to protect the people at Bayview from the same disaster! I think they are making a BIG mistake here!! But perhaps these people can have a good night sleep after all because a spokeswoman for Diageo said: 'We are fully committed to delivering a solution, and have shared the detailed design work undertaken to demonstrate how we intend to resolve current issues.' How many words do you need to say nothing?