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....

Islay Holiday Video 1960 Silent Film

Islay Video 1960 Port Askaig FerryDavid Livingstone posted a link on Facebook to a video which was filmed in 1960. (great find David). The film, titled Islay Holiday, is a silent film, shot in colour and shows the "Mills family holiday to Islay visiting Gigha and passing Colonsay." This film is available from the National Library of Scotland and therefore can't be embedded on the blog, however clicking on the photo or this link will take you to the page where you can watch the film.

There are some fantastic scenes in this film and what stands out the most for me were the immaculate white buildings of Bunnahabhain Distillery, the Locheil Ferry, the shots of Port Ellen and the view up Main Street Bowmore. What a changes in almost 60 years time! The shotlist is as follows:

map of west coast showing route from mainland to Islay. Pan of Port Ellen (0.51) shot Bunnahabhain distillery. Mills family on holiday, scenery. (1.30) looking over to Jura from Port Ellen ferry at Port Ellen pier (1.47) gv's Bowmore, including ls Killarow Parish church (2.10) scenery by Lochindaal; c/u kitten walking through bracken; Portnahaven with lighthouse in distance (4.37) Ferry Locheil arriving at Gigha pier. holiday makers on Gigha looking over to Jura. (5.45) visitors in Gigha village, Mills on deck of steamer Lochiel heading for Islay; tracking shot arriving Port Askaig (7.03) ls cattle on beach (7.11) ms Mills working on upturned bicycle. l/s monument to drowned American sailors on the Oa (7.48) Ferry travelling up sound of Jura Mills on board. (8.46) Ferry Locheil? arrives off Colonsay and small launch takes off mail and passengers [Donald 'Gibbie' handles mail sacks] (9.44) Port Askaig as ferry leaves and arrives at West Loch Tarbet (9.57)

Tag: video 1960 history

Happy New Year and More on 2019

Dear readers and followers, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year. I realise my Islay Blog has been quiet in December, this was due to a huge workload and some very necessary time off. However, we are now starting up again and behind the scenes is enough going on to make 2019 an exciting year but more about that later here.

2019 will again be a busier, tourism wise, than the previous years. This is a trend that's continuing for as long as I'm webmaster of the Islay Info website and it's confirmed by many tourism related folk I talk to on Islay. The tourist season is stretching and more and more visitors find their way to Islay in months which hardly saw any visitors some 15 years ago.

With the expansion of the current Islay Distilleries and the construction of new distilleries whisky tourism will also get an extra boost. Almost every distillery on Islay is either increasing capacity and/or working on providing a better service for their visitors, think for instance of the recently accounced plans for a state of the art visitor centre at Caol-Ila distillery. This is also the year that Ardnahoe Distillery will open its doors for visitors and Elixir Distillers have submitted revised plans for Farkin Distillery, between Port Ellen and Laphroaig, with underground warehousing for their new venture. And last but not least, work will begin this year on the Diageo site at Port Ellen with the reconstruction of Port Ellen Distillery. Read more...