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Issue 25 - A lochindaal moment

Whisky Magazine Issue 25
August 2002


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A lochindaal moment

Dave Broom takes a deep breath and plunges headlong into the wonders of Islay

If you stand long enough in an Islay bar the whole world will eventually come and stand next to you. The thought strikes me one night (or was it one week) at the Lochindaal Hotel. Archie McAllister's band is playing away. His fiddling was impressive enough earlier at the Bruichladdich open day when we danced under a cornflower blue sky. Here, a few more drams down the road, it's getting better by the second. There's a choice of three attractions: the Port Charlotte Hotel, the clootie dumpling ceilidh or the bar of the Lochindaal. I'm very fond of the Port Charlotte, but really there's only one choice. It's the Lochindaal for me every time.

The day had started with a Lochindaal Moment. We had just flitted house and since we were now living next door to the public bar decided to take up Iain MacLellan's offer of lunch delivered to the back door. The Lochindaal is like that. That involved me going to the bar and ordering. Two locals were talking about whether the gathering of people in the hotel was for a funeral or wedding.

“Aye, you were up late this morning,” says one to me. I look surprised. It was true. We had been an hour late in leaving our previous house, but I'd never seen this man before. “You're the one with the wee girl and the silver car,” said his companion, who was equally unknown to me. You must remember that on Islay people know what you've done before you do it.

The talk turned to boats … puffers specifically. Our family's typical summer holiday wa...

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