Despite my Irish origins I prefer Scotch whisky. I’ve sampled plenty of malts over the years and decided that my desert island whisky would be Highland Park. Islay malts are a close second though, both those that bear the traditional Islay characteristics of heavy peat and smoke, and those that are a little less intense.
In 2014 I visited Islay for a week on a pilgrimage of sorts, intending to visit and tour all the remaining working distilleries. There are eight in all, on an island of only 2,000 people and another one just across the sound on the island of Jura.
I visited in September knowing the Scottish weather, like Irish weather, is entirely unpredictable but was blessed with the best weather the island had seen all year, according to the landlord at our B&B. So when I wasn’t visiting distilleries, sampling the wares and agonizing over how many bottles of fine whisky I could realistically pack into my suitcases, I enjoyed watching the beautiful skies. From time to time I remembered to take some pictures. Here are some of them.