”Cask and Sea” -Ireland to Islay & Jura Whisky tours

Extremely unget-at-able” George Orwell’s words on describing how to reach Islay and Jura. The islands are as awkward to reach today as they where in 1946, However we can gladly help transport you on this journey using our boat as a passenger ferry from Portrush to Port Ellen / Craighouse.

islay-1

cask2

We set sail from our Home port of Portrush Northern Ireland onboard The Causeway Lass.

You will start your day with an on-board Breakfast BBQ; using wood chippings from Whiskey Barrels to flavour the local sausages & bacon.

ardbeg 2017

 

On arrival at Port Ellen, you will be transported by private taxi to Ardbeg Distillery.  This is your chance to unearth the mysteries of Ardbeg, both through the production process and its rich history.

You’ll be led on a comprehensive tour of the Distillery with a tasting in ‘The Chairman’s Study’.  Here you will sip and savour not only samples from Ardbeg’s main range, but two special drams of your Guide’s choice. After a delicious two course lunch at Ardbeg, we will travel by taxi to our next Distiller, the mighty, Laphroaig.

Islay and Jura Distilleries you could visit:

Southern distilleries
islay-2
The southern distilleries these are closest to the boat- Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Port Ellen (the latter was closed in 1983) – are the most powerful, producing medium-bodied whiskies, saturated with peat-smoke, brine and iodine. Not only do these distilleries use heavily peated malt (54 ppm at Ardbeg, 40 ppm at Laphroaig), they use the island’s brown water for every stage of production – until they were closed in the early 1980s, Ardbeg had its own floor maltings and used to steep the barley in the same water.

Northern distilleries 
The northern Islay distilleries – islay2 (the ‘ch’ is silent) and Bunnahabhain (‘Boona-hah-ven’) are, by contrast, much milder. These draw their water direct from the spring, before it has had contact with peat, and use lightly or un-peated barley. The resulting whiskies are lighter flavoured, mossy (rather than peaty), with some seaweed, some nuts, but still the dry finish.

islay whisky tour 2017

islay whisky tour 2017

Bowmore Distillery, in the middle of the island on the shore of Loch Indaal, stands between the two extremes – peaty but not medicinal, with some toffee, some floral scents, and traces of linseed oil. Caol Ila (‘Cal-eela’), although close to Bunnahabhain, produces a delicate, greenish malt, with some peat/iodine/salt balanced by floral notes and a peppery finish.

 

jursIsle of Jura distillery

The Isle of Jura is nestled off the West Coast of Scotland. It’s only 60 miles from Glasgow as the crow flies, but 60 miles has never felt so far away.   With only one road, one pub, one distillery and one big whirlpool, Jura is as beautiful as it is remote. Which explains why the deer outnumber the 200-strong population by a country mile.

Something Else? If you have another destination in mind or would like a tailor-made trip, just contact us! Click here to book a trip