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Islay distillery hunting

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Islay distillery hunting

Postby si_peacock » Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:44 pm

I'm visiting Islay in a few weeks and whilst I've done all the active Islays (and have arranged to have a wander round Kilchoman) I've not set out on my merry way to Port Ellen and other now closed distilleries.

I've heard that as Port Ellen is now a maltings the public aren't usually welcome. Seems a shame they can't do the same thing as the Speyside Cooperage and offer tours. Has anyone managed to get in to Port Ellen? Is there anything to see?

Also, I've got Scotch Missed and I'm planning on dragging my other half around the island looking for piles of rubble... has anyone else visited the defunct distilleries on the island and if so how easy to get to are they? Would I be better to spend my time in the bar of the Port Charlotte Hotel?

Thanks

Si
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:26 pm

Port Ellen distillery was a sad pile of rubble when I was last there (summer of 2003). You're not supposed to access the site, but as there was no one around I did wander in and around the buildings. Two of the three pagodas were still there, but all is empty shells. Some of the Port Charlotte warehouses still stand, but the old Octomore buildings have been taken down FAIK. As to the other lost distilleries, there are remains still, but for most you have to really know what you're looking for. Or at least, this is what I was told by someone who has made a big effort in trying to identify and photograph what's left (with the intention of a book in due course).

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:07 pm

Hi Si ,
I've got a bit of information on my site about the lost distilleries if it'll help , http://www.spiritofislay.net , go to the Other Distilleries link then click on "Lost Distilleries" in the page . The Info was provided by Graham Fraser who also contributed to Neil Wilsons' revised Scotch and Water .
Happy Hunting !
Gordon
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Apr 06, 2005 7:45 pm

Graham is the 'someone' I referred to!

Cheers, Lex
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:17 pm

I have heard of tours of the PE maltings being arranged, but I don't believe it's done as a matter of course.
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Postby Bart » Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:55 am

I have done one in 2002, with my Dutch whisky friends. Very worthwhile. They still use the old peat oven and peat to dry there barley for there peat batches. The big rotating drums are very impressive. See if I can find a picture of those...

Cheers
Bart
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Postby si_peacock » Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:38 am

Thanks for the replies guys - keep em coming. I'll give PE a call on the off chance, I guess if you don't ask you don't get.

Would Campbeltown, with all its lost whisky heritage be a decent place to see some old distilleries too?

Its one thing when you are so into whisky you try to do the equivalent of the 92 club but quite another when you start yomping all over the place to look at piles of rubble.

Still - it keeps me out of trouble :wink:

Si
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Postby Lawrence » Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:15 am

Campbeltown is really a nice palce to visit with loads of distilling history all over the place, the Springbank tour is a good one. They'll give you a little coupon for a mini at Eaglesomes down the road, have a sandwich there, they are vey good. I had chicken tandoori with my dram, hhmmm.
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Postby si_peacock » Fri Apr 08, 2005 8:54 am

Thanks Lawrence

I've already booked up all my time in May but will certainly log that for the next trip. Pleased to say we get up to Scotland fairly often at the moment.

Campbeltown has to be done and could probably be worth a week in it's own right.

Thanks again for the help and advice

Si
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:14 am

Although not really adding any or a lot of new information additionally to the sources emntioned already, I do have links to multimap.com of the lost distilleries on Islay here: http://www.peatfreak.com/art-islayDistilleries.php

There are also a few additional links to other sites with extra information on lost distilleries on Islay.
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