Spring Arrives with Islay Ferry Problems - Again

It seems that Spring in recent years not only welcomed sunshine, lambs and daffodils but broken ferries and messed up timetables too. The ferry services were disrupted almost every time at the start of the tourist season which usually coincides with the start of the summer ferry timetables, end of March. The problems were usually due to ferries returning late from dry dock resulting in a knock-on effect throughout the network. Broken down ferries are another cause of disruptions as the fleet is getting older and older. This year however, according to Calmac, things were planned to be different. The maintenance schedule was altered and the two Islay ferries were supposed to be back early March to guarantee a smooth start into the tourist season....You feel it coming right?

After the breakdown of the MV Finlaggan on Friday 15th of March, only weeks after her return from dry dock, the Caledonian Isles ferry, the one between Ardrossan and Brodick (Isle of Arran) had malfunctioning bow thrusters and as a result "touched" the pier in Brodick (Arran), or as Calmac wrote on their website: "Please be advised that as the MV Caledonian Isles was coming alongside in Brodick at approx 1400hrs, the bow thrusters failed resulting in a heavy contact being made with the pier fenders. This has resulted in some damage which will require further investigation." Read more...

Update on Ardnahoe Distillery Islay

I'm pleased that I can finally share some news snippets about Ardnahoe, Islay's ninth distillery. This morning I had the pleasure of a private tour of the new distillery. Paul Graham, visitor centre operations manager, showed me the ins and outs of the new distillery. It was a much anticipated experience for me as I had my first proper impressions of the beautiful interior. Without going into more detail, I will do that at a later date, I can safely say that Arnahoe is a great new asset for Islay and it will certainly become one of the tourism highlights for this year.


Ardnahoe Distillery Friday 8th March 2019

When will Ardnahoe Distillery Open?

At the moment of writing the distillery is in the test/production phase and they are preparing for their official opening on Friday 12th of April. However, this opening is for dignitaries only. The opening for regular visitors is likely to happen around the end of March but this is not certain yet. Make sure to keep an eye out on their social media channels and website for updates regarding the opening hours and other news. www.ardnahoedistillery.com

Tag: ardnahoe distillery whisky

Scotch: The Golden Dram - Film Featuring Islay

Scotch: The Golden Dram, a revealing feature documentary on how Scotch whisky became the premiere spirit of choice around the globe, will be released in UK and Irish cinemas on March 8 by Parkland Entertainment and Munro Films. This follows the film’s European premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on 1 March. Islay, and Jim McEwan, feature heavily in the film. The distilleries of Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg are all included.

The film marks director-producer Andrew Peat’s feature-length documentary debut, a passion project for the American filmmaker who studied at St Andrew’s University in Scotland. Andrew Peat says, “I am absolutely delighted to bring our film to UK and Irish audiences. The heart of our film is the characters, the men and women who produce Scotch whisky, from the barley farmers to the bottle makers. And you can literally see the passion and joy and pride they have in their work and this world-renowned product. They share their amazing stories, and some very humorous anecdotes. It’s a very educational film (you learn the entire process of whisky making), but at the same time it’s a film of the heart. You will laugh and possibly cry by the time the credits roll.” Continue reading...

Islay Whisky Academy

On several occasions I've written about Wild and Magic Islay, Whisky for Girls and Theatre of Drams, all ran by Rachel MacNeill from Bowmore. Around a year ago Rachel decided to streamline all her activities under one new business name and new website and the result was Islay Whisky Academy ( www.islaywhiskyacademy.scot ). The Whisky For Girls brand is still there and so are the many different and excellent Islay Whisky Tours and tastings through Wild and Magic Islay. Added is the education part.

Islay Whisky Education

A few years ago she started the Islay Whisky Academy Diploma and it proved to be very successful. Rachel said: "We have developed and expanded the company, and are delighted to offer Whisky Education Courses, in addition to our amazing Islay Whisky Tours and Events. Our new range of Islay Whisky Tours include 5 Star Tours, Flavours of Islay Tours, Adventure Tours, and many other interesting and unusual experiences. Wild and Magic Islay are very "on trend", offering Outlaw King Historic Tours of Islay. Sharing stories of Finlaggan Ancient Seat of the Kings of the Isles, & Dun Naomhaig - from where 10,000 men left to fight for Robert the Bruce in 1314." Read more....