Whisky Magazine Issue 54
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In the latest in our series on visiting distilleries Caroline Dewar looks at Islay and Jura
To many whisky fans Islay is the ultimate pilgrimage. Home to seven main distilleries – all world renowned names – and the new farm distillery at Kilchoman attracting whisky enthusiasts, this is hardly surprising. And the Isle of Jura just across the water. Pilgrimage can sometimes also imply hard to reach. So is it?
Well, you can get to Islay by plane from Glasgow International. This BA/Loganair operated flight runs twice per day Monday- Friday and once on Saturday morning. No flights on Sundays.
It takes only about half an hour. The plane seats about 32 people and can book up quickly sometimes, not only with holiday visitors but with island residents and business people, frequently from the distilling companies. On a clear day the aerial view of the island and sea as you fly in is stunning.
Alternatively, take the ferry from Kennacraig a few miles beyond Tarbert. This is the leisurely way to go. If starting from Glasgow you need nearly three hours to drive to the port at Kennacraig – lovely route if you have time – or there are good accommodations within half an hour's drive if preferred. That way you can stop the night before and get a morning ferry next day.
The crossing itself takes just more than two hours. Great scenery and wonderful bracing air. It is also a good opportunity to see some of the Islay coast as you sail in towards the port.
There are two ports on the island and both are used for the ferry dependent on time of day. Car and ferry are cheaper t...