Nice Islay March 2022 visit video

Islay on Video

John Munday and his best friend went to Islay in March 2022, staying at Easter Ellister Farmhouse. They mainly went for the whisky, but there were also visits to the beautiful beaches and some paddleboarding. Oh, and they were lucky enough to enjoy some amazing weather:

Islay March 2022

I hope you enjoyed the lovely views from the air and from the water, from the distilleries and from the beaches, all in glorious Islay sunshine. Nice work, John!

First NFID (Non-Fungible Islay Distillery) to release NFW (Non-Fungible Whisky)

Islay Whisky News & Links

Exciting and exclusive news for Islay whisky lovers and in particular whisky collectors today: In addition to actual bottles from the established distilleries you can soon start collecting virtual NFW bottles from Islay’s first NFID! The future of whisky collecting has arrived….

The brand new distillery is called AFIW™ Distillery (Not sure what AFIW™ stands for and how it is pronounced, I believe the name might be of Gaelic origin?) and will be completely located in the Cloud, meaning no impact on Islay’s creaking roads and other infrastructure.

Picture of a bay with clouds above, a whisky still, two casks and four bottles in the clouds
“Artist’s impression” of a whisky distillery in the Cloud

So how will it all work?

Launched today you can either buy a limited NFW cask or a limited NFW bottle future. The first NFW casks will be calculated today using the extremely secure 512 byte P.E.A.T. (Petaflop Excentric Algorithmic Triangulation) method also used in AlbaCoin. The casks will then be aged for a minimum of 3 years (usually longer, 10 years or more) using the innovative new Blockaging technology.

Each cask is of course unique and the information is recorded in the Blockchain. Once the cask has aged for the time specified in the Blockaging (pronounced block-aging) token it can be bottled into individual virtual bottles, again each bottle is numbered and recorded in the Blockchain. The value of a cask (NFWC) and/or bottle (NFWB) will of course depend on their rarity. There will be some varieties where only one single cask will be generated (and subsequently a limited number of bottles). These will of course be more valuable than varieties with multiple casks and therefore more bottles.

Each bottling will have dedicated NFW bottle token virtual artwork, so that you’ve got something to look at while reading the virtual tasting notes. Meaning you can taste your rare and expensive collection virtually, unlike your real collectors bottles which are locked away in a safe.

This all sounds very fascinating, finally the future has arrived for the avid Islay whisky collector! Experts are predicting a brisk trade with significant value gains for both NFWCs and NFWBs.

Will you be investing in NFW from AFIW™ Distillery, the first NFID?

Some interesting Islay links (March 2022 edition)

Islay Links

It’s about time I go through some of my bookmarks and notes from the last couple of weeks (or even months) and share some of the articles and more about or at least mentioning Islay. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to read and possibly share:

To start with travel writer Peter Irvine shares his favourite spots on Scotland’s loveliest islands, which of course includes Islay and Jura. They are spots 6-9, the Paps of Jura, Geese at Gruinart, Carraig Fhada Lighthouse and the Machrie Hotel.

Not Islay specific (although Islay is of course mentioned, Irvine also calls for islanders to get more control over impact of tourism.

I walked it last year (and still owe you a post about it), the Sustrans website has a lovely article about the new Loch Indaal path between Bruichladdich and Port Charlotte.

Scott Begbie writes about Marvellous malts and pure moments on the magical island of Islay in the Press and Journal. Whisky, beaches, food and sunsets get a mention.

Uproxx (which seems to be a music, film and lifestyle website) writes about a whisky-centric trip to Scotland with a few stops on Islay. The Islay stops are Bowmore Hotel Lucci’s Whisky Bar and Kilchoman distillery. Also an honourable mention for Ardbeg and Lagavulin distilleries. Not to forget plenty Islay pictures.

To close someone from the Sunday Post tried the scones at the Craigard Kitchen at Ballygrant. They were very happy with them and will be back.

I’ll leave you with that for now, hopefully you found something interesting to read. More some other time.

New Islay video: Lagavulin distillery and Dunyvaig Castle with a drone

Islay on Video

This one took me a bit longer to edit than expected, so it’s only going out quite late this Sunday evening. But I hope the wait was worth it and you’ll enjoy this video of a drone flight around Lagavulin Bay. Obviously views of Lagavulin distillery and Dunyvaig Castle (well, the ruin of it). But there’s more, as I flew around the whole bay, so you get to see the Islay Marine Centre, Stormpods, the village of Lagavulin and more. There are also brief distant views of Texa, towards Port Ellen and over to Ardbeg.

Islay’s Lagavulin distillery and Dunyvaig Castle from the air

And of course there’s something else: How good are your eyes (and attention)? Did you spot the Seal on the rock in the bay? If not you might want to watch the video again and see if you can spot it this time.

I’m hoping to edit another Islay video next weekend as well, but as usual no promises. The topic of the video will probably be Saligo Bay, but I haven’t made a final decision yet.

New Islay video: Port Ellen lighthouse and village from the air

Islay on Video

This video was in a way seven years in the making. as I filmed the footage back in June 2015, edited a teaser in early 2016 and then … progress stalled. Not sure why, for some reason I didn’t edit the full version ‘director’s cut’. But now it’s finally done and I can share 7 minutes of great views around and over Port Ellen from the air with you. The flight starts at Carraig Fhada lighthouse, we then move over to the Port Ellen maltings and distillery warehouses before finishing off around the centre of Port Ellen. I hope you enjoy the views:

Islay’s Port Ellen lighthouse and village from the air (drone view)

As the footage is from 2015 some things have changed in the meantime, one of the main changes I can think of will be Port Ellen distillery which is currently being rebuild. But of course there will be a few more. The character of the place as such won’t have changed though and the views are great in any case.

I’m hoping to continue the current run of a new video every week next week as well, but I can’t promise anything. If I do there’s a good chance of another visit to Saligo Bay in some form, possibly with a sunset in 360° or a sunny beach walk.

Happy New Year with an Islay dram and the New Year’s Concert from Vienna

Islay Events

As I eluded to yesterday, today marks the start of a new chapter in my life, even though I don’t know yet where it will lead me. All I know is that over the coming weeks I’ll be looking for new career opportunities, while also aiming to use the opportunity for a few other changes. But at the same time there are some constants, including my love for Islay and some annual rituals/traditions:

Picture of a colourful dawn over a field with trees at the edge
West Berkshire New Year’s Day dawn

This morning I got up early and left for my morning walk before dawn, on the return leg I saw a lovely colourful New Year’s day first dawn of the year sky over one of the West Berkshire fields I pass on my route. When I returned home I got the oven going for some fresh “New Year’s Day bread”, one Hemp Hearts bread and one fruit bread. Then it was time for one of my New Year’s Day traditions (mentioned on this blog before eg in 2020 and in 2018), the New Year’s Day concert from Vienna with a dram of Islay single malt whisky and my New Year’s Day brunch.

The whisky is the same as for Christmas, the Kilchoman Single Cask 11 Years Old Bourbon Cask. The brunch is the aforementioned Hemp Hearts bread, scrambled eggs and some smoked salmon. The salmon “slowly smoked for 12 hours over oak & whisky cask chippings”, so I’m imagining they were Islay whisky cask chippings.

Picture of a brunch with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and fresh bread as well as a dram of Kilchoman Islay single malt whisky
New Year’s Day brunch with an Islay dram

The concert has now reached the encores with the famous Blue Danube, so I’m going to finish now and wish you all a happy and healthy New Year 2022!

My Christmas Islay whisky 2021 – Kilchoman Single Cask Bourbon 11yrs

Merry Christmas! After a busy and eventful year (including my first visit to Islay after 22 months due to the pandemic, but also some less positive events, more about that some other time) it’s time for a break and briefly winding down. It’s Christmas after all. On Christmas eve I started with a few drams of the Fèis Ile 2021 Mòine Bordeaux Finish 2013 (and a pizza with a Jarl from Fyne Ales). After tonight’s Christmas Day food (burgers and beers from Harviestoun) I opened a new bottle, my Christmas Islay whisky for 2021, a Kilchoman 11 years old Bourbon cask matured single cask release:

Picture of a bottle of Kilchoman Single Cask Release 11 years old Bourbon Cask matured (with some Haggis Spice dark chocolate)
My Christmas Islay whisky 2021 – Kilchoman Single Cask Bourbon 11yrs

My bottle is nr 53 of 197, cask 222/2010, distilled 22/Apr/2010 (only notice that now, but it has some significance to me) and bottled 2/Aug/2021. And of course it’s rather nice.

With it I’m having some Haggis Spice Dark Chocolate, made by Edinburgh based COCO Chocolatier for Kilchoman. A bit of an unusual taste, but I like it. Sent some to my sister in Germany, not sure if she’s tried it yet.

The music over this Christmas is mainly coming from my ever growing Bad Mood Blaster playlist (as of writing this 179 songs, over 5 hours of my favourite music). Admittedly nothing directly Islay related, apart from that I listened to it on my drives to/from Islay and while driving on Islay. Or in the cottage.

With that Christmas Day 2021 is coming to an end, enjoy Boxing Day (and if you’re in the UK the upcoming two days bank holiday. Apologies to my continental friends, who to my knowledge either have to work or take holidays).

Bunnahabhain new and old Islay whisky wobbly glasses

Islay Whisky News & Links

Settling down for a relaxing evening with a nice Islay dram or two after a busy day off the day job, busy as I was moving furniture and building a new desk from the Swedish furniture store (I now have a fancy sitting/standing desk which can be height adjusted with wizzy electric motors). But that’s not what this post is about, this post is about some of my favourite whisky glasses, these here:

Picture of a bottle of Bunnahabhain Islay single malt whisky with two different wobbly glasses
Bunnahabhain new and old Islay whisky wobbly glasses (new in the centre, old on the right)

I’m not entirely sure what they are “officially” called, I call them the wobbly whisky glasses. Their bottom isn’t flat, no, it’s round, so when you set them down they wobble around, but through some clever design and a low centre of gravity they don’t fall over. Pure genius.

The one on the right is the old one, the original one. I bought that well over a decade ago, probably closer to 15 years ago. Unfortunately it’s the last one I’ve got, as the second one I had unfortunately broke a few weeks ago. Luckily I’ve now got a very worthy replacement (two actually, as I bought two during my most recent Islay visit in October 2021), the one in the centre. The design is slightly different, it’s even rounder and slightly bigger, but the most important part is just the same, the wobbly bottom.

The whisky with it is a lovely dram, the Fèis Ile 2021 Mòine Bordeaux Finish 2013, also bought during my recent visit in October 2021 with some expert help by my favourite “rubbish birder”, video weather reporter and tour guide extraordinaire (I assume you now all know who I’m talking about).

Scottish Strawberries and Laphroaig Islay single malt whisky

Islay Whisky News & Links

From what I’ve heard it’s been a lovely sunny day on Islay today while it’s been mostly cloudy with quite a lot of rain in West Berkshire where I am. Still, I managed to get in a 10 miles exercise walk along the Kennet and Avon Canal in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 55 seconds. As a reward I’m treating myself to an Islay and Scotland treat tonight:

Picture of some Scottish strawberries and a glass and bottle of Laphroaig Islay single malt whisky
Scottish Strawberries and Laphroaig Islay single malt whisky

One of my Islay standards, the good old trusted Laphroaig 10 yo. Together with some Scottish strawberries (from Angus if I remember correctly). What’s your treat tonight?

Islay Easter dram 2021 (and some dark chocolate and cocoa truffles)

Islay Fun

Happy Easter 2021 (even if it’s a bit late). Had a nice afternoon walk in the sun in West Berkshire earlier, spotting around 30 Mute Swans in a field as well as several Red Kite along my route, which was a mixture of well known (to me) paths and a new path I hadn’t been on before. Now, about 45 minutes after sunset and with the last light of the gloaming slowly fading away, it’s time for a well deserved Islay Easter dram and some chocolate:

Picture of a Bruichladdich Port Charlotte MRC: 01 2010 with a Lindt dark chocolate Easter egg and cocoa truffles
Islay Easter dram (and some dark chocolate and cocoa truffles)

I picked the Bruichladdich distillery Port Charlotte MRC: 01 2010, one of my favourite Islay single malts. The “standard” Port Charlotte 10yo is one of my regular go to Islay whiskies, this one I think is the even better (and unfortunately pricier) version for special days.

For the chocolate I’m treating myself to a Lindt Lindor dark chocolate 70% minimum Easter egg with some dark chocolate truffles. While on a chocolate per ££££ basis these Easter eggs are a bit of a rip off compared to regular chocolate bars there is something strangely satisfying about breaking up a chocolate Easter egg and eating the crumbled chocolate, so it’s something I’m treating myself to once (or twice, Christmas is similar) a year.

I hope you’re having a nice Easter with whisky, chocolate and Easter walks in the sunshine. What’s your treat this Easter?