Whisky Magazine Issue 18
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Dave Broom takes up residence on Islay for the duration of the whisky festival and enjoys a seemingly never ending spiral of whisky served in half-pint glasses, oysters, cigars and dancing – he even finds the time to visit a couple of distilleries as well
Day 1, Saturday 26th May 2001
The sea is like a sheet of glass. No sound as the prow cuts though the water. Jura is a fuzz on the starboard side and where Islay should be ... nothing. We're sailing into a patch of brilliant sunlight to a mysterious island.
Only two drivers wave at us as we make our way from Port Askaig to Port Charlotte, evidence of lots of tourists. I wonder if part of taking your driving test on Islay involves being able to wave and steer at the same time.
I meet Iain MacLellan and get the keys to our cottage which is next door to the Lochindaal Hotel (which he also owns). “There might be a bit of noise tonight, we've got a few musicians coming in,” he says. At 11.30pm a piper starts up outside our window. We go to the bar to find a wall of accordionists, a mandolin player, a guitarist, drummer ... and the piper. They rage through a selection of crowd-pleasers. Everyone who enters is grabbed and asked if they play or sing. Drams
are flying. The bar's run out of Bruichladdich. Overheard conversation: “We make pickles.” “Looks like you've done a good job on yourself. Have a dram.”
Day 2, Sunday 27th May 2001
I drive out from my base to see the recently reopened White Hart in Port Ellen. There's a kitschy display in the corner, all fisherman's nets, diver's helmets and a realistic-looking dummy of an old salt. I'm wondering why they've let a mannequin take up valuable space when it suddenly moves and staggers to the door – spending three m...