Scotland Day Four: Bowmore and Laphroaig

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Souvenirs!

 

Day Four was our last full day in Islay, so we needed to make the most of it!

We booked our Water to Whisky tour with Laphroaig already, but it started at 12 – definitely time to fit Bowmore, the first Islay distillery, in before. How better to start your day than with a wee dram at 10AM? When in Islay!

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Bowmore Distillery

 

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On time for our 10AM tour

 

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Burning peat

 

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Inside

 

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Barrels of Bowmore

 

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Ready for the tasting

 

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Cheers!

 

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Quick stop at the Spirited Soaps shop for some whisky infused soap

 

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Settled on Laphroaig to take home!

 

The Water to Whisky tour at Laphroaig was the main event planned for our trip. To quote the site:

Water to Whisky Experience: The most extensive whisky experience available. You will be guided by a Laphroaig Host who will share Laphoaig stories and secrets along the way. You will meet at the distillery to put on your wellington boots. This experience includes a distillery tour, a picnic lunch, peat cutting, a visit to the Laphroaig water source and a taste from a selection of casks before using a valinch to bottle your favorite.

We had such a great time with our great guide Christianne. You can’t help but feel at peace walking through the countryside, picnicing next to the water source and cutting peat.

After the experience we ventured out to find our plots, since all four of us are Friends of Laphroaig.

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Could tell we were getting close to the distillery!

 

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Arrived!

 

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Just missed the 200th anniversary

 

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Beautiful view of the water

 

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Laphroaig

 

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Printing off her plot certificate

 

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Germinating barley

 

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Little sprouts

 

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Feeling the barley

 

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Group photo

 

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Burning peat

 

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We took some home with us, too! Apparently we’re the first to ever ask!

 

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Laphroaig

 

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Another group photo

 

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Perfect setting for photo ops!

 

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View of the sea

 

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Koen and I are big fans of fermentation!

 

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Control board

 

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Copper pot stills

 

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Bourbon barrels

 

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More barrels

 

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Prince Charles’ barrel

 

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Venturing out to the water source

 

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Stopping every once in a while for photos

 

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That’s Lagavulin in the back left

 

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Islay countryside

 

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Following the water

 

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Picnic spot

 

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Dutch flags displayed proud

 

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Having so much fun!

 

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Just for us!

 

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Laphroaig’s water source

 

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Sampling a dram of Laphroaig water

 

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Koen with the water source

 

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Cheers with their convenient whisky glass necklaces

 

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I wanted to try to! But first disconnect my glass…

 

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Trying not to fall in

 

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Heading back

 

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The crew

 

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One last photo op in the countryside

 

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Combing the peat moss

 

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Heading out to cut peat

 

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So much peat

 

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Laphroaig 10 amongst the peat

 

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Learning how to cut

 

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Wet from the evening’s rain

 

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Hannah cutting peat

 

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This was really difficult for me

 

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Finally able to make the cut

 

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A natural

 

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Big piece of peat

 

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Leaving the peat

 

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Heading back to Laphroaig

 

 

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Koen bottling whisky with a valinch

 

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Koen bottling his whisky

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Time to find out plots

 

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Looking ahead

 

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Venturing out to mark our plot

 

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USA USA USA

 

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Brought a Belgian one, too

 

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My plot

 

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Nederland!

 

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And a little bit of marketing thrown in

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Representing both countries

 

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Nederland and België

 

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Heading out to find Chris’s plot

 

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Bye Laphroaig!

For our last evening, we ate at The Islay Hotel for a seafood dinner!

 

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Time for dinner

 

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The Islay Hotel

 

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Oysters to start

 

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Smoked cod and asparagus

 

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My seafood platter!

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