SPIRIT OF THE DISTILLERIES TOUR
This is an in depth, deluxe Connoisseur’s Tour, offering VIP and Craftsman’s tours of Islay and Jura’s Malt Whisky Distilleries.
3 days, 2 nights, 9 distilleries, many expressions.
This 3 day, 2 night Malt Whisky Connoisseurs Tour of the Islay and Jura Distilleries offers an deluxe, in depth exploration of the distilleries and their Whisky. It offers the chance to further develop existing knowledge of whisky and the Islay and Jura Malts.
Your accommodation is usually in Bowmore, in one of the comfortable guesthouses in the village. If your group is a bit larger, we will provide accommodation in one of the self-catering houses and make provision for a cook who will make breakfast for you, or, if you prefer you can go to one of the hotels near by.
This tour is for people who are really interested in whisky and wish to learn more about the different expressions offered by each distillery.
The tour manages to fit in EVERY distillery on Islay and also makes a visit to the Isle of Jura Distillery. Most of the distillery visits are for the more in depth tours offered. Bunnahabhain VIP tour takes one and a half hours, it is with the Team Leader or one of the Craftsmen. Together you explore 5 of the Bunnahabhain Expressions. This tour is by appointment only. The Bowmore Craftsman Tour is a two and a half hours exploration of the distillery and warehouse, sampling some of their expressions and tastings from a least two casks. These tours are also by appointment only.The Laphroaig Tour is Distiller’s Wares which, is an in depth exploration of at least four of their best expressions and allows you to hand fill your own 250ml bottle of Laphroaig’s finest. You are tutored by the Team Leader or one of the Craftspersons from the distillery.
This Spirit of the Distilleries Tour is for people who have a great interest in the Islay Malts. It is perceived as a tour for people who already have some knowledge of Scotch whisky and wish to expand their awareness of the grouping known as the Islay Malts.
You are looked after and introduced to the people at each distillery by your host, guide. On this tour you can really focus on learning and experiencing more about the Distilleries and their Malts, and leave all the organising of transport and responsibility for achieving each visit at the arranged time to Wild and Magic Islay. If your group is the only one on the tour we can organise any special requests you may have about spending more time at a favourite distillery.
This is YOUR connoisseurs’ tour.
(There is also a WHISTLE STOP WHISKY TOUR option available ~2 days and 1 night)
We then return to Islay and make our way to Caol Ila Distillery for their interesting tour. After which we will take you to your welcoming guesthouse where your time is your own to explore your surroundings or rest and prepare for dinner.
We will collect you from your guesthouse and drive to Lagavuilin Distillery for their early tour, where you will receive a complimentary Tour glass. We then make our way five minutes up the road to Ardbeg Distillery for their Tour and Full Range Tasting. We can have lunch in the Old Kiln Café at Ardbeg, before heading off to Laphroaig Distillery in time for their Johnston’s Choice Tour, which takes you on a journey through the ages of Laphroaig, including four choice drams. We then return you to your guest house where the evening is your own to explore and perhaps visit one of our whisky bars.
We collect you from your accommodation and make our way to Bruichladdich Distillery on the shores of Loch Indaal. You will have a special tour and if you wish you can fill your own bottle. Then we will make our way to Kilchoman, one of the world’s newest traditional distilleries! for their morning tour. We can have lunch at the Kilchoman Distillery Café. After lunch, we will return to Bowmore, the island’s capital village where you can take the Bowmore Distillery Craftsman’s Tour. We will then take you to the evening plane or ferry and wave you off after a very enjoyable time on Wild and Magic Islay.
Includes 2 nights accommodation, 2 Breakfasts, all special tours and entrance to all Islay Distilleries detailed in itinerary, also trip to Jura Distillery and tour entrance, all transportation for duration of time with Wild and Magic Islay. Full care and attention of host, guide for duration of time with Wild and Magic Islay. Excludes lunches or dinner.
B&B accommodation, Entrance to all distilleries. Price depends on season & group size
Wild and Magic Islay travel company is run by myself, Rachel MacNeill. I am originally from Colonsay, but was brought up on Islay, spending my childhood on Daill Farm, Bridgend, in the heart of the island.The people involved with your holiday are people living on Islay. I know all the people you will be staying with during your time on Islay. I know the people in the hotels and cafes. I know the people in the distilleries. Looking after visitors is the way we make our living.
In this tour you visit all the working Single Malt Disitlleries on Islay and the one on Jura. The distilleries are part of our heritage. We get work from the distilleries and they bring people from all over the world to Islay. Islay wouldn’t be Islay without the distilleries. They are part of our history, we have so many distilleries because the Campbells of Islay were the Kings men, and when everywhere else was over seen by external authority in relation to their distilling –Islay initially could oversee its distilling itself. Hence our distilleries were able to establish early and not be forced to close due to overpayment of taxes.
Although the distilleries are mainly owned by corporations off Islay, by definition of being an island most of the employees live here. The distilleries are also very good at supporting local charities. Bowmore Distillery’s waste heat is used to heat the swimming pool in the MacTaggart Leisure Centre. Diageo are very good at doing ‘match funding’ when one of their employees is involved in some kind of charity fundraising. Kilchoman Distillery support the Islay Pipe Band, previously Bruichladdich and Black Bottle – Bunnahabhain – sponsored the band for years.
Wild and Magic Islay has a very strong environmental ethic. This company is not initially motivated economically. I wanted to make a company that cares about people and the environment. I use local suppliers, buy local produce and try to have a fair and inclusive attitude. I use the local newspaper office, The Ileach to get all my printing done. My costs are dearer because I don’t buy in bulk from the mainland, or get cheap items. I buy local, and quality.
Islay is within the county of Argyll. Argyll & Bute Council have a very good recycling programme. Every household has recycling bins, and there are numerous public areas with recycling bins. We recycle plastic, paper, glass, tins, cans. Also, I have a compost heap in my garden.