Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Please don't shout!!

All your whisky related questions answered here.

Please don't shout!!

Postby r900p » Sun Jan 21, 2007 2:57 pm

Okay i should know this, but is Coal Ila independent or part of one of the larger groups, and secondly do they have a website. Planning a trip to Islay and want to find out tours etc.

Thanks, Rob
r900p
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1510
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 12:24 am
Location: Liverpool

Postby dram_time » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:10 pm

Caol Ila is part of the Diageo group. And I believe that they do offer tours there.

Find out more at..

http://www.malts.com

If you join up there, they will send you nice little book about all of the Classic Malts.

Dt.
dram_time
Silver Member
 
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:56 pm
Location: north west scotland

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:12 pm

Deee-ag-eeeeo (Whispers MT in a non-shouting kind of way).

As for more info on tours:

http://www.discovering-distilleries.com/caolila
Deactivated Member
 

Postby vitara7 » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:18 pm

there only open weekdays
vitara7
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:54 am
Location: central scotland

Postby Wave » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:01 pm

I had a very nice tour of Caol Ila in June, easily one of the best tours I had that week that included all the Islay distilleries. I did the 9:30 am tour (whisky for breakfast!) and got a stillman to show me around who went on for a good hour and a half talking his trade. Very informative! No special bottles to buy, but I was saving that for Bruichladdich anyway. :)


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:32 pm

dram_time wrote:
Find out more at..

http://www.malts.com

If you join up there, they will send you nice little book about all of the Classic Malts.

Dt.

Also with the pass book i believe you get into the distilleries for nothing , so that could be a free tour of Caol Ila and Lagavulin (plus others on the mainland !) .
Caol Ila is one of the worst tour we've had on Islay , apart from when Marjorie from Laga took us around , the guide (an old guy) spoke to people individually and not as a group and people were (incl us ) loosing interest . It's more of a factory than a distillery compared to the likes of Ardbeg and Bruichladdich . The view from the stillroom is fantastic so that more than made up for it on the 2 occassions . On the other hand during the festival Billy Stitchells Masterclass is highly entertaining......

Slainte
Gordon
User avatar
Spirit of Islay
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2537
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Usually somewhere with Whisky......

Postby Wave » Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:14 pm

Caol Ila is one of the worst tour we've had on Islay , apart from when Marjorie from Laga took us around , the guide (an old guy) spoke to people individually and not as a group and people were (incl us ) loosing interest


Maybe that's why I like it so much as I was the only one on that tour. My own personal showing! :wink:


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:18 pm

I agree it's great having a personal touch , i've had many a tour where there's just been me and the good woman but when there's at least a dozen people in a noisy working environment and the guides only addressing one person it's a bit different , others tend to loose interest ..... especially when the tour guide has a very quiet voice .

Slainte
Gordon
User avatar
Spirit of Islay
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2537
Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Usually somewhere with Whisky......

Postby vitara7 » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:00 pm

i too like to go to them not at peak times or holidays, that way you can arrange a tour and a lot of the time if you ask nicley, you can get the distillery manager to take you round.

but the tours at the likes of glenmorangie and gleffidich are rubbish, you get taken round by polish students....
vitara7
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:54 am
Location: central scotland

Postby suffolkwhisky » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:08 pm

Vitara7: you seem to be the Jade Goody of the Whisky Magazine forum...

I have been shown round Glenfiddich by a very knowledgeable Scottish chap (although he was a student)...

but, hey.
suffolkwhisky
New member
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 9:35 pm

Postby vitara7 » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:20 pm

i hate it when you go to a thing that is ment to be "scottish" and you expect to have the heratige etc of scotland, a scottish welcome and all that touristy stuff, yet you think youve ended up getting a bus to the outer reaches of eastern europe. ive nothing against them, but if i owned a distillery id be hiring folk who could speak the langauge. there were folk asking questions in what i would say was a posh accent, and they couldnt understand certain words they were even saying.

im not saying all tour guides are from overseas, nearly the distilleries ive been to ive done about 3-4 times and i have had great guides, like a woman at glen grant, amazing tour, went back two months later, and hey presto, a russian or pole took the tour round. nowhere near as good.

the likes of americans coming over or canadians going to one of them, there expecting to see a cottish or british tour guide and one that can speak english pretty good so they can ask questions.

ive made a decision, i am not going to be returning to do a tour at any distillery that employs foreign workers to do the tours as i feel they are of a much lower standard than from a "local" etc, the distilleries ive been to that have these are,

glenfiddich
glenmorangie
glen grant
strathisla
oban

im still going to visit the distillery and buy stuff from there shops, but im not going to go on the tous and simply be let down by a sub standard tour, whstd the point, you can get better tours elsewhere.
vitara7
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:54 am
Location: central scotland

Postby suffolkwhisky » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:35 pm

Jade Goody doesn't even begin to describe you.

Either someone has knowledge or he doesn't; my experience would suggest that this does not depend on his nationality.
suffolkwhisky
New member
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 9:35 pm

Postby Mustardhead » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:40 pm

suffolkwhisky wrote:Jade Goody doesn't even begin to describe you.

Either someone has knowledge or he doesn't; my experience would suggest that this does not depend on his nationality.


I don't think there's any need to launch personal attacks on members of the forum whether or not you disagree with their opinions.

For the record, I would be disappointed to be escorted on a distillery tour by anyone who didn't know the place inside out. A student doing a holiday job, whether from Gdansk, Felixtowe or Greenock wouldn't be what I want.
Mustardhead
Gold Member
 
Posts: 555
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Gloucestershire, UK

Postby Wave » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:52 pm

ive made a decision, i am not going to be returning to do a tour at any distillery that employs foreign workers to do the tours as i feel they are of a much lower standard than from a "local" etc, the distilleries ive been to that have these are,

glenfiddich
glenmorangie
glen grant
strathisla
oban


I had a "local" give me a tour at the Strathisla distillery and at the Glen Grant as well. At the Glenfiddich was a German chap who spoke well and had good knowledge of the product, met him again the next day on the bus from Aberlour and chatted all the way back to Dufftown, nice fella. Being from a nation of foreigners I don't mind having someone other than a Scot conducting a distillery tour so long as they know the product that they're showing, also enthusiasm is a plus!


Cheers!
User avatar
Wave
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1860
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 6:57 am
Location: Illinois, USA

Postby vitara7 » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:54 pm

thats the thing, they have very little knowledge. i was told by one of the tour guides that all they are given is a few A4 pages of info on the distillery, they read it, and use it like a script, if something comes up outwith that script, there gazummped, i was on a tour and someone asked a question, cant remember what it was, but it was a very very basic question about whisky, not the distillery, and the tour guide just didnt know. someone spoke up and gave the answer to the person, not me as it wasnt my place, but after that the tour had a terrible feel about it, the guide was in a difficult position andsurly they must have felt stupid.

the point im getting at is when you go to spain or where ever, you go to enjoy the local food culture etc etc, i for one hate seeing brit bars etc etc as i would want to go to a bar or eatery indicative of that country.
vitara7
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1541
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:54 am
Location: central scotland

Postby Paul A Jellis » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:59 pm

Just to chip in - I have been on many tours and the best ones have always been with people in or from the trade, retired workers, wives of workers or full-time employees hired to that job and that job alone.

I don't care where they come from as long as they know their stuff and can answer any reasonable question I throw at them.

This is the same for anywhere, not just distillery tours.

And I agree, this is not the place for personal attacks.
User avatar
Paul A Jellis
Gold Member
 
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Bedfordshire, England

Postby dram_time » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:13 am

ANYWAY,,,

r900p (Rob)

Have a nice trip to Islay, hope you get to see the stuff you want to and don't forget to post about it all when you get back. Hope some of the info above was helpful, and yes, if you join at classic malt's, you do gain free entry to the distillery's (that are open to the public) in the group.

These being..

Talisker, Clynelish, Cardhu, Caol Ila, Royal Lochnagar, Glen Ord, Lagavulin, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie and Oban.

No tours at...

Knockando or Glen Elgin.

Dt.
dram_time
Silver Member
 
Posts: 266
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:56 pm
Location: north west scotland

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 23, 2007 2:43 am

I've never had a tour given by an eastern European or such, but I have had substandard tours given by Scottish summer help. It doesn't have to be that way; I've been given very good tours by temporary student guides. It's all down to the distillery's attitude, more than anything else.

Gordon, we loved the older gent at Caol Ila, and were sorry we had not alloted enough time for him (we had to run off to Jura). I can see how he might not handle a larger group well, but if you can put yourself in a frame of mind for a good blether (on things other than whisky, often enough), he's a good chap.

Which leads to my advice for r900p. Every distillery in Islay is different, and all are worth seeing, but don't make the mistake of trying to squeeze in as many as you can. Do one in the morning and one in the afternoon, as a rule; at the least, allow two hours plus travel between tours. You may not need that long, but it's better to have a little time to kill between each one than to wish you could stay and natter for a while when you have to rush off to the next. If you can't get to all you want to, you have reason to return!

Many will consider Caol Ila the least interesting distillery in intself--it's a state-of-the-art facility for the 1970's--but as Gordon said, the view from the stillhouse makes it worth it. I think Bruichladdich, Jura, and Ardbeg are the most interesting, and I was pleasantly surprised by Bowmore this past year. But if someone else said Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Kilchoman, or Bunnahabhain was in his mind the best, I would not argue--as I say, they are all worthwhile.

Check out:

http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk

http://www.islayguide.com

http://www.isle-of-islay.com

The latter has distillery visitor info, including tour times, here.
Deactivated Member
 

Return to Questions & Answers

Whisky gift and present finder