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Diciadain, 28/Jan/2015

Nice Islay cycling tour video

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With the days getting longer again now it's time to get out a bit more. That's what Paul Wilson and another biker did on Islay. They went on at least two (there might be more to come, I don't know) tours on Islay and filmed it with a helmet camera. Here's one taking in the old Radar Station above Machir Bay on a circular tour from Conisby:

YouTube: Islay Cycle To Radar Station

Some nice views over Machir Bay from up there, well worth the effort. Keeping in mind they also cycled out from and back to Conisby I guess they must have been out a good few hours. In any case, a nicely edited video, I hope you enjoyed it as well. I hope to show the video from a visit to the American Monument some other time.

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Diluain, 26/Jan/2015

Breezy day at Port Ellen Marina, Islay

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Not a full blown storm, but still a fairly breezy September afternoon at Islay's Port Ellen Marina. I recommend to turn down the sound a bit, it does get a bit noisy from the wind:

YouTube: Port Ellen, Isle of Islay

I hope you didn't get seasick watching…

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Didòmhnaich, 25/Jan/2015

Islay Blogging Roundup #322

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Just one more week to go in January, February starts next weekend. Yesterday I went Otmoor near Oxford to watch the Starling murmurations, probably one of the last chances to see them in these numbers this winter. Looking forward to spring. But now as it is Sunday evening it's time for the weekly Islay blogging roundup, what did the blogs have to say about Islay this week?

For those wanting to plan ahead the whiskyfanblog from Germany has Mit dem Traditionssegler „Flying Dutchman“ zum Islay Festival 2015. Joan from Spain also writes about events for Islay 2015. Whisky for Everyone went on a Distillery visit - Bowmore.

Krav tastes the Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength Batch 005, again, but served four ways and the Alkoblog from Germany has a Halbe Portion: Bowmore Small Batch Bourbon Cask im Test as well as Der Gute aus der zweiten Reihe: Caol Ila 12 Jahre im Test. A Norwegian blog tasted the Laphroaig 8 år Provenance 46 %. The Whiskycuse had the Laphroaig 1991/2014, Sherry & Refill Hogsheads, OB Vintage for Germany, 5.000 bottles, 52,6 %vol. Also a Finnish whisky blog tasted the Laphroaig PX Cask 48%. Rob says Bowmore Brings Me Back. The Bootleg Brew crew goes on an Islay Adventure: Introduction with Islay Adventure: What should your first Islay whisky be?

On the Bruichladdich News blog we can read about Milling The 2014 Harvest.

On the Our Learning Blog of Port Ellen Primary we can read about a Visit From Maggie Bell and they also report from their visit to The Wollen Mill.

For the birdwatching and wildlife the Islay Birds blog reports from the Big Garden Bird Count, expect strong wind in a few days and has the numbers from the Bowmore to Gartbreck count. The INHT blog announces the INHT - Winter programme of talks and shows Snowdrops amongst the snow showers. John Armitage also participated in the Big Garden Bird Watch, earlier in the week he was On the trail of the Greenland White-fronted Goose. 20.1.2015.

To close of course the pictures, where Ron shares Two New Islay Winter Panorama Pictures. He also has Sheep in a wintry landscape and a Roe Deer. From my own Islay Pictures photoblog I've picked Jura and Islay from Colonsay, the Rock in Saligo Bay and the Calmac ferry passing McArthur’s Head lighthouse, Isle of Islay.

That's all for this week, more next week. Enjoy your wee dram of Islay single malt whisky on Burns Night!

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Disathairne, 24/Jan/2015

Take a walk around Lagavulin Distillery, Islay

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Many of you will be familiar with Google Streetview, where you can ‘drive’ along roads all over the world from the comfort of your own home. Here Islay was covered by Google Streetview since March 2010. More recently Google has started to cover areas you can't reach with a car, e.g. you can walk on the canal towpath opposite my flat from where I'm blogging this. Via the Lagavulin Facebook page I've now found the first place on Islay where you can do this, which is Lagavulin distillery including the still house:

I think all that's left to say is, pour yourself a wee dram and start exploring. It's good night from me, the Islay blogging roundup to follow on Sunday.

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Dihaoine, 23/Jan/2015

Friday Islay Picture #355 - November sunrise

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Back to a more normal week (as you will have noticed from the number of blog posts this week), yet I'm running late again this evening after getting sidetracked by a variety of things. The Friday Islay picture I've picked for tonight is a panorama of beautiful Islay November morning in Machir Bay, the Sun just rising above the crags:

Panoramic picture of a sunrise over a bay with a sandy beach, a wreck in the sand

Just love this view, the big skies, the Sun just starting to come up behind the crags, the golden sand, the old wreck in the sand, the big wide open.

As the limited space I've got here doesn't do it justice I will (as usual) post a larger version on the Islay Pictures photoblog on Saturday morning. Good night for now, have a great weekend!

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Diardaoin, 22/Jan/2015

Ben's beautiful Islay map

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There are plenty of Islay maps out there. They range from the well known OS maps used by walkers, to taste maps, to very old maps and even quilted and stitched maps. Another type are the illustrated ones like the one Ben Scruton just created. I first noticed it a few days ago when I came across this:

Today's 'in the studio' pic. Working on a map of Islay whisky distilleries. #map #illustration #illustrator #illustratorsoninstagram #islay #whisky #islaywhisky #singlemalt #scotland #bowmore #laphroaic #ardbeg #portellen #bruichladdich #lagavulin #caolila #bunnahabhain #kilchoman #doodle #drawingboard

A photo posted by Ben Scruton (@ben.scruton) on

Intrigued I hoped I was going to spot the final product whenever it was going to be ready. This morning I spotted another few tweets from Ben and after a few corrections from a number of people he posted the final version:

My map of Islay's Whisky Distilleries (with corrected spellings) Don't drink and draw kids! #Islay #map #illustration pic.twitter.com/TC3zo3ilSL

— Ben Scruton (@benscruton) January 22, 2015

I like it a lot, I think he has picked out some of the main features of the distilleries (and some of the other places on Islay) very well. Of course there's a bit of artistic freedom involved as well, I think we should allow him that. I'm not sure what (if any) Ben's further plans with the map are, I've seen that people are already asking for prints. I guess we'll have to see what he says on his Ben Scruton Twitter account and on his Ben Scruton Illustration website.

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Diciadain, 21/Jan/2015

Summer view over Port Ellen, Islay

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With all the cold, dark and at times stormy winter weather at the moment how about a reminder of the summer? With Sandy's help let me take you out to the Oa for a view over Port Ellen with one of the Islay ferries leaving for the mainland:

Islay Ferry Fin Laggan from Sandy on Vimeo.

Nothing spectacular, but still very enjoyable. The nice sunny view, a bird singing, the ferry slowly passing. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

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Diluain, 19/Jan/2015

A few Islay whisky links

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Following on from yesterday's Islay Blogging Roundup #321 which included a few Islay whisky mentions I thought I'll add a few more today. Difference being that today will focus not on blogs but on other publications.

The Danish Ekstra Bladet has a Stor test af Islay whisky (meaning a large test of Islay whisky) covering 50 Islay and Jura whiskies. And the nice panorama of Ardbeg is actually by me, you can find the original here (not very nice of you, Ekstra Bladet, to just take my picture without asking).

T, the New York Times Style Magazine, has a nice story (with video) about Laphroaig in A Scottish Distillery Celebrates 200 Years by Changing Absolutely Nothing.

The Scotsman takes us to Bowmore for Travel: A taste of Islay with Bowmore distillery.

According to the Emporia Gazette (from Emporia, Kansas, yes, I had to look that up) Bruichladdich is pure 'poetry'.

That's what I've got for today, I hope you found one or two or even all of them interesting.

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Didòmhnaich, 18/Jan/2015

Islay Blogging Roundup #321

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Not a great weekend, mostly recovering from the 55 hour week last week. Just pottering about at home, trying to catch up on a few things I didn't do during the week. Anyway, now the weekend is coming to an end (with some nice gloaming in Aldermaston Wharf) and it's time for the Islay blogging roundup. As I'm running late in a slightly different style:

Whisky (and food):

Visitors and other general posts:

Local updates:

Birdwatching, wildlife and weather:

Photography:

That's all for tonight. I'm off to bed. Good night.

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Disathairne, 17/Jan/2015

Beautiful Laphroaig Islay Single Malt video

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Last night I enjoyed a few drams of the rather splendid Laphroaig 10yo cask strength batch 006 while posting the Friday Islay Picture #354. Tonight I will be enjoying a dram or two of the An Cuan Mòr and some dark chocolate. All of this brings me nicely to a new Islay video about Laphroaig:

YouTube: Laphroaig: Hollow By The Bay

I like this short film a lot, the calm and relaxed mood, the local speakers (I think I recognise one or two of the voices) and of course the excellent footage. Well done Nørth Sea Air and Laphroaig.

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