Islay in Germany

You might wonder where this title comes from? Last week I found an interesting site. There are a lot of people caught by the Islay-virus and they all express their love for the island in their own special way. Some of us write about Islay, paint Islay, sing about Islay and there is one person who thought that the present Islay Bar in Port Ellen needed some redecorating. Now I dont think she is the only one. It is a sad sight to see this old hotel and bar left in the state where it is in today, although from a certain point it does have its charm. I wonder if there are any plans for a major update here? Now this lady who wanted to redecorate the Islay Bar did so in Munich Germany where she started her own Islay Bar. They serve, of course, all the Islay Malts and even Port Ellen Malt is available there. So if you are ever in Munich make sure you dont miss this place.

The proprietor of the bar is Ulrike Putz and she has a German/English website which you can visit here

Added 28th of july: Armin wrote on his Islay Blog in English and German about the plans for the Islay Hotel in Port Ellen. Thanks Armin!

Saligo Ale - Summers Delight or Winters Dream?

As you might or might not know is that Islay is also home to a genuine Brewery. The name of the brewery is Islay Ales and they are located on Islay House Square near Bridgend where they produce Real Ale. What is Real Ale? According to the Oxford English Dictionary: "Real ale is a name for draft (or bottled) beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide." The Islay Ales Company Limited was founded by Paul Hathaway, Paul Capper and Walter Schobert in 2003 to establish a microbrewery on the Hebridean Isle of Islay. And they succeeded very well if you ask me and the quality of the Ales match the quality of the Whiskies from Islay's well established Distilleries

As the title already says: Saligo Ale is a summer Ale, and should be served chilled, preferably on a warm summer evening. A real treat if you ask me. Saligo Ale however is not the only Ale sold at the brewery. Other names referring to Islay's rich history are: Finlaggan Ale, Black Rock (great with an Islay Steak), Angus Og Ale (was for sale during the 2004 Islay Festival), Ardnave Ale, Dun Hogs Head and Nerabus Ale (a typical winter Ale). Click here for a complete overview and details of all the fine Ales available.

If you visit the brewery for the first time you will find out that the staff is very helpful and are more than happy to let you taste some samples. Which doesn't make the choice easier, they are all superb but you will certainly find your favourite Ale to take home from your Islay trip. And here the Winter Dream comes in, remembering the beautiful times on Islay and looking forward to a renewed acquaintance with Islay, it's friendly people and the fine Ales at the Islay Ales Brewery

Royal Family to travel from Islay

The Royal Family uses Islay for setting off on a holiday cruise around the Western Isles. They left Port Ellen today and are guided by a Royal Navy frigate. Young and old on Islay waved the Queen, Prince Philip and other Royal Family members goodbye wishing them a wonderful cruise. They paid £125,000 to hire the Hebridean Princess for a week. The Hebridian Princess was once a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry and is now owned by the company Hebridian and normally sails from Oban to the Scottish Isles or Norway.

The pictures in this article are courtesy of Islay Studios Photography in cooperation with Brian from The Ileach

Islay Birding - A trip to remember

It's not more than logical that a Birding Trip on Islay is great fun with an entertainer like Jermey Hastings. Jeremy knows his way around Islay and is an expert in Islay wildlife. It's therefore a great compliment for Jeremy that he was mentioned today in the Online Independant. I can very much agree on that and as a participant I can only say the trip is fantastic, with so much to see and learn about Islay and Wildlife.

For those who like more info and book a trip with Jeremy you can contact him through the Islay Birding Website.