Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Jul. 29.


Band of GoldBruichladdich Nostalgia BAROLO 017 (2) (1024x959)Barley


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 in association with  Professor PAUL HUGHES formerly of Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh


 5 Islay Distilleries

 5 Day Whisky Course on Islay

26 – 30 October 2015 inclusive


 ~  includes lectures, distilleries, accommodation & most food

 Proposed Itinerary


9.00 – 13.00 Lectures focus on Kilning & Malting

Coffee Break at 11.00 – 11.15

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00-17.00 Laphroaig Distillery

19.00 Trip to Peat Bank with cutting and stacking demonstration


9.00 – 13.00 Lectures focus on Mashing and Fermentation

Coffe Break 11.00-11.15

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 17.00 Bruichladdich Distillery ~ focus on Terroir & work with barley grown in Islay


9.00 – 13.00 Lectures focus on Distillation

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 17.00 Kilchoman Distillery ~ focus on distillation and farm scale distillery production

19.30-21.00 Optional SCOTCH MALT WHISKY SOCIETY Tasting

especially for Whisky Course Islay Guests

hosted by Brand Ambassador Mr John McCheyne


9.00-13.00 Lectures focus on Maturation

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00-17.00 Bowmore Distillery  Warehouse Experiences

19.30 Special Whisky Paired Dinner ~ 4 Courses  ~ kindly sponsored by

Hunter Laing ~ Old Malt Cask 

R & B Distillers ~ Raasay While We Wait

A.D. Rattray ~ Cask Islay


9.00 – 13.00 Lectures focus on Marketing & Branding

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 16.00 Ardbeg Distillery awareness of image and branding focus and Ardbeg Committee

16.00 -17.00 Presentation of WHISKY COURSE ISLAY CERTIFICATES

17.00 End of WHISKY COURSE ISLAY 2015



Accommodation is in self catering houses in Bowmore.

All breakfast food is supplied for you to help yourselves.

Lunch is supplied for 5 days from Cafe Blasda

Coffe & Biscuits are supplied for 5 days from Cafe Blasda

Lectures are held in ICCI ~Ionad Chaluim Chille Ile  in a lovely room overlooking Loch Indaal

Travel to and from distilleries is provided each day

Peat Cutting Adventure is included

4 Course Whisky Paired Dinner is included

You can stay an extra night at the beginning or end of the course if you need to for travel at no extra cost

We can provide taxi numbers for you to arrange collection from the plane or the ferry to Bowmore

You can fly to Islay from Glasgow in 30 mins ~ Flybe

Or you can take the ferry from Kennacraig ~ foot passengers do not need to book ~ Calmac

Please email : rachel@wildandmagicislay.com to book your place and for any other help or information


We look forward to meeting everyone


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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Jun. 21.

The Future of Whisky Making

Bruichladdich Nostalgia BAROLO 017 (2) (1024x959)

I have just watched a programme about Dan Barber and Blue Hill Dining.

This restaurant and philosophy illustrate an old, new way of looking at dining and food production. Basically, they are trying to make people think about flavour and good husbandry in food production. This means the bottom line in the business is not economic.

Last week I was in Barcelona and visited Vilarnau Cava Cellar.

They are in the second year of the three year programme to become organic  Cava producers.

This eco friendly  way of thinking about food and drink is the future. And if we want to protect our planet and ourselves we need to start thinking about this kind of thing in whisky making.

Bruichladdich Distillery are away out in front with their thinking in relation to this point.

They are working with individual farms in Islay and have fields of barley grown for them in different areas of Islay. They intend to distill these crops of barley individually, so the micro provenance of the barley can be traced to specific areas of Islay. This is a fantastic idea. Bruichladdich’s stapline ~ ‘We believe Terroir Matters’ is so important. Wine makers understand this consciousness only too well. Why people dismiss or underestimate this in whisky making is beyond me.

Bruichladdich are out in front with this thinking, but more needs to be done. We need more organic whisky, more individual fields growing barley.

Kilchoman Farm Distillery are at the forefront of this new, old thinking also. They have just agreed to buy the farm of Rockside upon which the distillery is situated. This is a fantastic thing. Now they will be able to grow their own barley, on their own farm and produce their own whisky. This is how distilleries came into being in the first place. Farms ‘stored’ their excess barley in whisky. This is the same way we store excess milk in cheese, and store summer berries in jam.


Whisky making is part of the cycle of life. The yearly turn of the seasons. Whisky making has its place in the cycle of the year ~ It is when it became a commercial concern that it became a year round event.

The whisky industry needs to become more organic, more closely connect itself to the growing of the barley. I was struck whilst at Vilarnau Cellar that it was really a vine farm. They think about the land and the agriculture, whereas in whisky we think about the process.

I believe that the future of quality #Scotch Whisky making is in attention to  Anam an fhearrain ~ in attention to Terroir.

I believe we need to pay more attention to ingredients.  How and where they are grown and sourced. We need  to develop a system  that works from the land to the glass with a  far more environmentally aware consciousness than we do at present.

Slainte! To the sustainable future of #Scotch Whisky Making

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Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009
Whisky For Girls ~ washbacks to slingbacks 009