Dating jewel who
But lack of wood has never been an insurmountable problem over the centuries, despite the fuel requirements of thousands of inhabitants. Throughout the year, like much of Scotland, the abundant grasses, mosses and shrubs live and die in perpetual bog.
Over centuries, the resultant decaying matter creates a dense black substance. The result of a peated malt is a flavour infused with rich smokiness that varies considerably from distillery to distillery, as each has its own unique techniques of production.
Built as they were in an age before lorries and metalled roads, the water highways were the main means by which grain would arrive and whisky would leave the distilleries.
I had good reason to be fearful – an appalling number of experienced sailors have met their end on the rocks of Islay, and there are several memorials on the island to the passengers and crew of tragic shipping disasters.
The Atlantic-facing side is made up of rock formed 1.8 billion years ago, pre-dating multicellular life and making it some of the oldest rock on the surface of the earth.
It is a rain-lashed place where high winds can whip the sea into ferocious waves that thrash the rocks.
The Lagavulin 16-year-old is a fundamental part of Islay’s whisky heritage.These are, from west to east: Laphroaig, Lagavullin and Ardbeg.In good weather, it would be hard to conceive of a situation more bewitching.The island currently has eight distilleries and some of the biggest names are directly linked to illicit early production.There are few trees on Islay and much of the ground is bog land.