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Picture of Bruichladdich distillery on Islay The original plan for this day was for my mother and me to take the ferry to Colonsay for the day while my father and sister stayed on Islay to rest. But as the weather in the morning wasn't very nice and didn't look very promising we abandoned that plan and had a lazy morning at the cottage instead.

Around lunchtime the weather started to improve and after lunch at the cottage we left for Bruichladdich. Our first stop was Bruichladdich Distillery. We stopped here for a reason:

While planning this holiday my parents had promised me a special birthday present, I was going to fill another bottle directly from the cask using the valinch. I had done this previously, back then it was a present to myself. After a quick look around the yard we headed straight to the visitors centre:
Picture of a man filling a bottle of whisky from a cask
Picture of a man having filled a bottle of whisky from a caskPicture of a man pushing a cork into a whisky bottleThere were two different casks on offer, but it was an easy decision for me. I chose the Port Charlotte First Cut, cask 007, distilled 28/May/2001, in a Bourbon cask. I handed my camera to my sister, who was going to document the event for posterity. And started filling the bottle.

Trying to fill a bottle from the valinch while trying to look reasonably photogenic and at the same time not losing a single drop of the precious liquid is not an easy task.

I think I was reasonably successful in looking photogenic, if I remember right someone also filmed it on video. Unfortunately I forgot to get his details, otherwise I would have asked for a copy.

Once the bottle was full I closed the valinch and put the cork in. The bottle was then sealed and finally I attached the numbered label (my bottle is nr 817 out of an estimated 950).

With my birthday present completed we spent a bit more time at the visitor centre, tasting some whisky and my sister selecting some presents to take back to Germany. I then had the opportunity for a brief chat with Mark Reynier, who came down despite being busy working through some new EU regulations for whisky.

We then had a look around the distillery and the village. A visit to Islay Studios was thwarted by it being a Wednesday afternoon, when they are closed. By now the weather had become quite nice, so we walked out on to Bruichladdich Pier for a nice view of Bruichladdich. For a better view try the Quicktime VR panorama of Bruichladdich Distillery and Village, Islay:

Picture of a panoramic view over a village with a distillery (Bruichladdich on Islay)
Picture of two women walking towards the entrance of a shop in a croft building We had planned to have our dinner at the pub in Portnahaven, but as it was only 16:15 when we were ready to leave from Bruichladdich we had plenty of time left. Time to take the scenic route and time for a stop on the way.

In Port Charlotte I turned off the A847 and took the back route via Kilchiaran. We briefly stopped at Kilchiaran: I pointed out the round old farm steading and we had a short look at the ruined chapel.

Our next stop was Tormisdale. Leaving the main road we drove up the track to Tormisdale Croft. I was trying to find some local Islay honey and one suggestion I had been told was that they might have some. They did. We also had a look around what else they had to offer, including some wool from the Alpacas now being kept near Port Charlotte.
Picture of two women standing in a shop selling various handcrafted items Picture of a view over a coastal village around a small bay/harbour
Picture of three seals on rocks near the water Late in the afternoon we arrived in Portnahaven, enough time to work up a bit more of an appetite. We went for a walk around Portnahaven and Port Wemyss. In Crown Street we stopped to buy some more honey directly from the beekeeper before continuing to Port Wemyss.

In Port Wemyss a new coastal path leads along the shore, after waiting out a short shower we had brilliant views over to the lighthouse on Orsay. There were about a dozen seals sunning themselves on the rocks at Orsay. It was fairly breezy, but with the sun coming out it was very nice.

Picture of a lighthouse on an island on the other side of a small sound Picture of a row of houses above some rocks
Picture of a house with a pub called 'an tigh seinnse' After approx 1.5 hrs and a very nice walk we returned to Portnahaven. From the pier of the small shipyard at the southern end of Portnahaven we had a very nice view over the small bay and the village in the early evening sun. For a better view you can try the Quicktime VR panorama of the view over Portnahaven village, Islay.

Dinner was at an tigh seinnse as planned, if my memory serves me right we all had the same dish, a very nice fish. A nice open fire was burning in the fireplace, providing some atmosphere.

We returned to Kilchoman along the A847 with some nice clear views over Loch Indaal. The rest of the evening was spent in the cottage at the open fire, very relaxing. A very nice end to another great day on Islay.
Picture of a panoramic view over a coastal village around a small bay (Portnahaven on Islay)
If you are interested in more information about Islay, Colonsay and Jura you might also be interested in my Isle of Islay pages. There you will find many more pictures and further information about Islay, Jura and Colonsay.

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