Eleven students from Islay High School are to embark on an expedition to Ethiopia led by their deputy headmaster Stephen Harrison. Stephen is very experienced and has led IHS students on a number of these expeditions, which take place every two years on average. Locations have included Costa Rica, Ecuador, Malawi, Madagascar, Palau and Borneo. They are an amazing opportunity for young people to experience a remote area of the world, but they also require high levels of organisational engagement, of understanding logistics and hard physical training.
A new company, Bruichladdich UK Distribution Ltd, is created to distribute the Bruichladdich range of Islay single malt Scotch whiskies and The Botanist, Islay dry gin.
Bruichladdich Global Brand Director Douglas Taylor says: “It has been an exciting and challenging journey establishing Bruichladdich in the UK and our distributors have done a fantastic job in growing both Bruichladdich and The Botanist in a difficult climate. We appreciate their input and thank them for their partnership."
We are delighted to feature reviews of two very different Bruichladdich single malts from the journal of Augustus Hare, a menswear company which: "adheres to the traditions of meticulous craftsmanship". The first is a Sixteen Year Old Laddie aced in Chateau Lafleur from Pomerol. The second is an interesting assessment of the world's most heavily peated whisky, the Octomore 5.1/169. The prose, as one would expect, is perfectly poised.
The 10th staging of the unique Islay Beach Rugby tournament took place in front of the White Hart Hotel in Port Ellen in glorious sunshine on Saturday 8th June. The event has traditionally enjoyed good weather and now provides one of the social and sporting highlights of the Islay calendar. Over a thousand gathered on the banking to enjoy fearsome competition from twenty two men's and eight women's teams. Conditions were perfect as the prolonged spell of dry weather provided deep, soft, powdery sand. While this means it is utterly exhausting to play on, it probably accounted for the lower injury count this year which is always welcome.Billed as "Blood on the Beach", the spectacle of fast, furious, full contact rugby makes for great entertainment.
Three veterans of The Battle of Britain attended a signing session at Shoreham Aviation Museum in Kent on Saturday with top aviation artist Geoff Nutkins. These were Nigel Rose of 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron who flew Spitfires, Tom Neill DFC and Bar of 249 Squadron who flew Hurricanes and also served in the defence of Malta, & Joe Roddis who was Robert "Bob" Doe's fitter with 234 Squadron which flew Spitfires. Wing Commader Doe became one of the most decorated RAF aces of the battle having shot down 14 enemy aircraft. We sent a few bottles of The Laddie Ten down to help with the celebrations. Ronnie Lamont, who describes himself as the "go-getter" for the Museum and organised the drams for the vets tells us: "All three were over the moon with their gift and asked me to pass on their thanks."
What a week this has been. The Feis seems to have been busier than ever with a constant stream of Laddiefans coming into the distillery for tours, cask visits or just to say hello. The Laddieshop has become quite a social centre but today has been even busier than usual because we have had live music courtesy of Cellos Galore. The quartet was co-founded by Liza Wilson and Sandy Baillie who are Scots now living and working in Germany. They were joined by Maria O’Connor from Ireland and fellow Scot Laura Sergeant. It is a privilege to be able to experience musical performances of this quality.
A A review of a trio of our Valinch bottlings by The Malt Impostor which is in fact a plurally challenged triumverate comprising John, Stephen and Bill. The Malt Impostor represents the bloggosphere in full flight, with each post hilariously rivalling the last in its efforts to attach ever more ludicrous olefactory interpretations to Scotland's national drink. It's very funny, laugh out loud funny in fact, and therefore, as with most good comedy, the sketches are based on more than a grain of truth.
We appreciate entertaining writing much as we appreciate good whisky and a scan through the archives of the excellent 'Jewmalt' blog provides plenty. Written by Joshua 'Yossi' Hatton it was probably Yossi who first drew a parallel between Bruichladdich and the Sex Pistols (in print anyway).
Those who voiced concerns about the Bruichladdich ethos being undermined following the purchase of the company by Remy Cointreau would have surely been reassured by the first ever Laddie presentation to the Remy International Brands conference in Athens earlier today. CEO Simon Coughlin, Global Brand Director, Douglas Taylor and Digital wonk, Lynton Davidson walked on stage accompanied by “Anarchy in the UK” by the Sex Pistols.
It was a truly great day yesterday - and for the thirteenth year in succession the sun shone on the multitudes in our courtyard. It was surely the busiest we have ever been - the sheer number of people was quite overwhelming at one point. We have not compiled the attendance figures yet, and it is impossible for us to be accurate anyway for all sorts of reasons, but but we know that there were significantly more people than we expected. And all having fun.