The southernmost island of the Southern Hebrides is characterized by malts that are pungent with peat, smoke, and salinity, revealing their complexity layer after layer. There are eight working distilleries on Islay: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Kilchoman, Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, and Ardbeg.
Islay Festival, or Feis Ile, is an annual week of malt and music shenanigans that takes place on Islay every end of May. Perhaps the highlight of the Islay Festival is that most distilleries craft a limited edition cask, especially for the festival.
Even the island’s name is shrouded in complexity; the proper pronunciation of Islay is ‘eye-la’.
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