Tuesday 1st June – Laphroaig
18:15 – Laphroaig Live
Join distillery manager John Campbell, senior ambassador Simon Broking, and visitor centre assistant Linda Laird for 2021’s #LaphroaigLive session, where the team will be going live, sharing drams and stories and a sneak peek at Lahroaig’s festival release, the Càirdeas 2021 PX Cask Strength (as well as further information about its release). The new release is triple matured in American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels, quarter casks, and European Oak Hogsheads containing PX sherry, and joins the line of bottlings crafted by John Campbell to celebrate Friends of Laphroaig, which started in 1994 for friends, fans and followers from all over the world. Bottled at cask strength, the Càirdeas 2021 edition is smoky, peaty, sweet and fruity, with hints of grilled bacon, manuka honey and oak spices.
There’s also an interactive element to the Laphroaig Live event, with viewers having the chance to select the final story of the night – you just need to tune in and vote. The trio will also be answering questions, reading comments, and sharing their favourite #agooddaywithlaphroaig posts during the session, so pour yourself a dram, pull up a chair, and settle in to watch here!
20:30 – Laphroaig Late
John, Simon and Linda will once again be going live in the first ever #LaphroaigLate. The event marks the end of the day’s whisky celebrations for John and Linda, while for Simon – who will join the event from a bar in New York – it’s just the beginning, as he supports the distillery’s on-trade partners who are serving Laphroaig once more. If you miss the earlier Laphroaig Live, and the team’s first look at the the Càirdeas 2021 PX Cask Strength whisky, don’t worry: the new release will also be featured in the Laphroaig Late stream, so don’t go anywhere! Join in here.
20:00 – Festival Ceilidh
Time to put on your dancing shoes! This event is organised by Fèis Ìle, so check out their Facebook page for all the details – but rest assured, the event will feature some fantastic ceilidh tunes!
Wednesday 2nd June – Bowmore
18:00 – Malting with the Manager
Tune in tomorrow to join distillery manager David Turner as he explains how traditional maltbarns influence the flavour of our favourite whiskies. Whether you’re a whisky aficionado or a novice when it comes to this great spirit, this is sure to be of interest! You can watch here.
18:30 – Live Bowmore Whisky Tasting
Put David Turner’s expert teaching to good use in this whisky tasting, where you can join master of spirits Iain McCallum and distillery manager David Turner, as well as a panel from Bowmore. In addition to the tasting, the event gives you the chance to explore ‘a distillery steeped in tradition and heritage’, from the old-fashioned floor maltings to the deep dark warehouses where ‘there is a story behind every corner.’
20:30 – Islay Quiz
Another event from the Fèis Ìle team, this isn’t one to miss! Download your quiz sheet here and get stuck in.
Thursday 3rd June – Kilchoman
From midday on Thursday, Kilchoman has a colourful schedule of events for attendees to enjoy, starting every hour. If it’s tastings you’re after, Kilchoman is offering them in abundance; if you want a deep dive into the processes of the distillery, look no further; and if you want to speak directly to the whisky makers themselves, this is the place to be. Of particular interest will be the Kilchoman ‘DNA live tasting which kicks off the day’s events, as the team talks through a few of the cask strength, core range whiskies, as well as the 2021 limited editions.
The distillery’s 360° tour experience will also let you explore every nook and cranny of Kilchoman and its whisky-making process, with attendees able to scroll across the screen while being guided by the team through barley fields to bottle halls. Just the thing if you’re missing distillery tours – this is certainly the closest thing to seeing a distillery in-person, and is sure to be a remarkable experience. For the full schedule and more information, see the Kilchoman website.
Friday 4th June – Bunnahabhain
16:00 – Warehouse Number 9 tasting
Your chance to take part in one of the distillery’s most popular experiences, from the comfort of your home! Bunnahabhain brings their much-loved event to a virtual platform for Fèis Ìle 2021, for a very special tasting with drams straight from the cask.
20:00 – Masterclass live
Join whisky expert Dave Broom, master distiller Brendan McCarron, master blender Julieann Fernandez, and distillery manager Andrew Brown as they guide attendees through this year’s limited-edition Fèis bottlings. Bunnahabhain has released two whiskies for the 2021 festival: a 2013 Moine Bordeaux Finish, which is bottled at cask strength and offers notes of oily peat, rich spices, cocoa and warming chilli; and a 2001 Marsala Finish, which has been rested in Marsala wine casks for 20 years and combines ‘Sicilian flair and Scottish tradition’, with notes of cherries, liquorice, and tobacco.
What's more, the distillery will also be announcing a third release live during its evening tasting – an exclusive bottling which one lucky fan will have the chance to win by taking part in a virtual voyage around the island. Viewers will be able to accompany Billy Sinclair, Bunnahabhain’s visitor centre manager, as he explores the island and meets some of its most famous residents – sharing tales about everything it has to offer visitors along the way.
The new bottlings and tasting kits will be available on Bunnahabhain’s website and all events will be streamed on their Facebook page.