Whisky Magazine Issue 100
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Jazz fans flocked to Islay in mid-September for the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival and there was a new hook for whisky fans this year with the launch of an official Festival bottling. Now in its 13th year, the event draws audiences of locals and visitors alike who cram into distilleries, community halls and even bird reserves for some spectacular performances.
“It's always good to play for people who've just been given a free glass of whisky” remarked the leader of the Tom Bancroft Trio Red on the opening night in Malt Mill at Lagavulin Distillery. The expressive drummer captivated the crowd with his deft touch across the dynamic range and his witty banter. There's something magical about the intimate setting of a distillery at night; the arc lights piercing the shadows while the stone walls echo with the rhythm of the waves lapping the shore. Across the weekend the omnipresent Mario Caribé plucked his bass and strummed his cavaquinho in a variety of styles through musical collaborations including the late night dancing in Bowmore Hall with the Subie Coleman Band which really turned up the heat.
Between shows, festival goers devoured local produce that perfectly complemented the drams from scallops, oysters and smoked venison to indulgent treats from the Islay Chocolate Company. On the closing day, the Swedish Jacob Karlzon Trio blew the clouds away as the grinning pianist presented his compositions with verve and a delicate brilliance including his take on U2's “In G...