Whisky Magazine Issue 105
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Every year, the Islay Festival of Whisky attracts peat fanatics from across the globe and this year's Ardbeg open day once again proved that the distillery still knows how to throw a party.
Anyone who has ever opened a bottle of peated whisky from Islay will tell the non-believers that the only way to truly understand what all the fuss is about is to take a trip over to the magical island and experience it first hand. What better time than during the last week of May, when the legions of peat freaks and smoke chasers from all around the world descend on the famous isle for the annual Feis Ile - a celebration of all that makes Islay great.
This year saw whisky fans from as far a field as Japan and America making the pilgrimage for the week-long festivities, that have been running in tandem with the distilleries since 2000.
The distillery open days, accompanied by their annual limited release bottlings have now become the stuff of legend and none more so than Ardbeg Day – traditionally the final distillery to open their doors during the festival.
Previous Ardbeg open days have been centred on a specific theme, sparking some rather outlandish costumes for the staff and distillery manager Mickey Heads, including flamenco outfits (to tie in with a Spanish oak theme) and this year was certainly no exception.
Decked out in tracksuits, trainers and sporting special sweatbands and whistles, team Ardbeg looked the part as they formally opened the Olympic themed events on a surpr...