Islay Festival 2006

Quoted from the Ileach Newspaper: Islay’s major annual event, the Festival of Malt and Music, more than lived up to its well earned and world-wide reputation, by providing visitors and an increasing percentage of locals with fine portions of both malt and music. Even at the start of the Festival on Saturday 27th it was possible to overdose on the music being purveyed with Cliar in Bowmore Hall and Carol Laula and ninetyfiveproof in Bruichladdich.

With multiple appearances by Skerryvore, Deoch an Dorus, Islay Pipe Band, The Maverick Angels and Norma Munro and with singularly enthusiastic performances from piper Stuart Liddell, last year’s popular Friday evening headliners, Blazin’ Fiddles and the noisiest pipe band in the world, Clannan Drumma at Ardbeg on the Saturday.

There were, of course many events ancillary to the music and malt bits, such as the Texas Scramble at Machrie, the Clootie Dumpling workshop, Fishing and Bowling competitions, and it is testament to the enthusiasm and work ethic of the Festival Committee that these ‘smaller’ events contuinue to take place.

However, we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought that the population of Islay virtually doubled during this week for any reason other than Islay and Jura’s nine malt whisky distilleries. With the number of attractions at each distillery during their particular ‘open days’ it was obvious that it was not only the festival comittee that was working hard. Aside from tours with the managers and staff, nosing and tasting masterclasses, there were midnight tours, walks to the water sources, blending classes, special bottlings and numerous other delights for the avid and often far travelled whisky lover.

We have already had report of folks booking for next year’s event, many of whom have been coming for several years. Long may it continue.

With kind permission from The Ileach

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