Flew over to Islay yesterday for the launch of Kilchoman's first Whisky that has been completely produced on Islay: The barley was grown on the island; the barley was malted at the distillery; it was mashed, brewed and distilled at the distillery and, finally, it was matured and bottled at the distillery.
It is the first Whisky for over 100 years that has been wholly produced on Islay.
I joined a dozen others, journalists, PR, Charlie Maclean, Ian Buxton & myself, who jumped on a chartered Jestream and flew (no security checks, EXTREMELY civilised) for 25 minutes to then wee strip between Port Ellen and Bowmore, then a bus to Kilchoman distillery at Rockside farm on the west of the island.
AND THE SUN SHONE!!! It was an absolutely glorious day, blue skies, sunshine, no (or few) clouds and shirts sleeve warmth.
Richard Joynson from Loch Fyne Whiskies was there, as were importers from Belgium, Germany, France and Finland, along with the company's directors, shareholders and a number of people who have been instrumental in getting the distillery's produce out there. A local chef put on a fabulous spread which included sumptuous scallops flambeed in the distillery's whisky, fresh, local langoustines, a delightful crab tartlet and local venison.
Our flight back was eventful as we circled above Glasgow airport a couple of times and then headed out towards Cumbernauld above the under construction M80, finally wheeling back via Campsie Glen and Lennoxtown. Apparently, there was an incident involving armed police and the police helicopter at the west end of the main runway.
And the whisky?
Fresh and youthful with a great balance of peat and sweetness and flavours of citrus peel, sugar puffs and tobacco. My full tasting note will be on my website later today - I hope!