[Warning: Limited Legal Content]
Tonight I will finish packing for a trip to the U.K. And while we are flying into London, and my family is quite excited about the things we will see in that magnificent city, I’m actually more excited about some other aspects of the trip. In particular, I’m most excited to be going to Islay. I’ve always wanted to visit but have never before had the chance.
We will be staying in Port Ellen, our cottage a short distance from Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin. A slightly longer commute from the cottage brings you to Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Kilchoman or Ardmore. And with a quick boat ride you can find yourself in Jura.
Having never been there before, I feel silly saying this out loud – but if I’m completely honest I feel as though I am going home. Possibly this is because I live today in a landscape reminiscent of the Hebrides – windswept, rocky and rainy coastlines. Possibly this is because I learned from a fairly early age that I loved the earthiness of peat. And possibly this is because Jura was the home of my mother’s family before they left Scotland for a better life in the new world in 1724. I’m looking forward to being back.
While there, we will of course visit a number of whisky distilleries. I’m also eager to sample a number of Scottish gin varieties that I’ve heard about but not had the chance to try. I plan to take lots of pictures (many of which will be posted to the Instagram account) and make new friends. If you’re on Islay or Jura next week and you see a guy wearing a bow tie and a ridiculous grin – it is probably me. Say hello. I’d love to meet you. But if you see me staring off into the distance with a bit of water in my eye don’t worry. I’m probably just glad to be home.