Life On Islay

I started my internship at Bruichladdich this week, and so far I’ve had a bit of work and plenty of scenery.

It’s quaint and quiet.  I’m staying just across the road from the distillery at the Bruichladdich “Academy House.”  Mary, that evil one, is making it her mission to fatten me up.  She makes me breakfast every morning– a strong farmer’s breakfast, for a slight young barman.  Every morning there’s a large plate of fried eggs, bacon, sausages, blood pudding, toast, yogurt, fruit, coffee, and orange juice.   I about fell back asleep after that first one.

There’s an old bike in the garage that I can take into the nearest town– Port Charlotte.  It’s about a two mile ride, and entirely along the coast.  You see peat bogs, a war memorial, rocks, sheep, some wooly-looking Islay cows, more sheep, there’s an old church, and what seem to be barley fields.  Though it’s not nearly harvest so I can’t be certain.

After work I read about whisky, and there’s whisky on hand whenever I need a sip for reference.  Last night, for instance, I learned that not all Islay whisky is peated– and Bruichladdich “Rocks” served as an example of a fine whisky that’s expressive of unpeated malt.
Islay life is at a slow pace.  So far I have learned there are four seasons to a day, and there is no rush– which helps me understand that good whisky takes patience.


Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 3:54 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am curious how you came about your Internship? I would love to do one as well. Any information would be great. Cheers,


    • Keola,

      Thanks for your interest. I can’t say that it was easy to acquire. Jim McEwan has a lot on his plate. After all they make quite a bit of whisky at that distillery. My advice is to pick the distillery that inspires you the most and just go there, talk to them, and make friends. I had seen people get some pretty detailed tours simply by doing this. Jim is so inspired and loves to share. I did have help from Tales of the Cocktail which added validation to my project. I also saved up a bit of money to help fund my travels. I will say it’s hard to turn down free labor and should you be persistent enough in your quest.. your passion is usually shared and supported.

      • Thank you so much for your quick response and kind words. I am excited to figure this out. Persistence, Passion, and a Positive attitude will be my mantra. I’ll get to Islay one way or another. Cheers,


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