Islay: whisky, gin and cows on the beach

Islay is the “Queen of the Hebrides”, an island with such clear seas and bright beaches it sometimes felt like we’d been zapped to the Caribbean… until the sheep and cows came wandering along the sand.

But it’s really all about the single malt whisky with the hard-to-pronounce names (though Brian Cox will show you how).

The whisky was a bit lost on me (Laphroaig review: “Tastes like punishment”) but I heartily recommend The Botanist, the gin made by Bruichladdich. Hands down the best I’ve ever thoroughly sampled!

Cover for Gareth's new prog album
Cover for Gareth’s new prog album
Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg Distillery
All misty like the marketing copy
Token cask pic
Token cask pic
Tropic of Scotland
Tropic of Scotland
I would love to see an Islay single malt spelling bee
How good would an Islay single malt spelling bee be?
Swallows not welcome at Laphroaig
At Laphroaig
Laphroaig stills | Port Charlotte pub
Laphroaig stills | Port Charlotte pub
Coos on the beach
Coos on the beach
Beach sheep
Sheep on the beach
Sheep shelter
Ever more sheep
Mod cons
Beautiful bays… delicious food…
Machir Bay
Machir Bay. We snoozed; they surfed.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for December 2022.

22 thoughts on “Islay: whisky, gin and cows on the beach

  1. Lovely photos!!
    Islay single malts are my fav, although I definitely chuckled at your “punishment” comment! 🙂

  2. Gorgeous photos!

    Laphroaig is an acquired taste – I bought a bottle for Bike Boy whilst we were hanging about at the airport at KL (Duty free, yeah!) He loves it, but much as I enjoy Scotch, I find it a bit too smokey and…strange.

      1. Lololol.
        I once had someone tell me that liking Islay malts meant I had a weak palate because the peat is so overpowering I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the subtleties of of a nice Speyside or something.

  3. Shauna – fantastic pics and good news about Mary. Laphroaig’s ‘TCP like’ qualities are indeed an acquired taste but Lagavulin is a milder introduction, to the peatiness. But of course if they make gin – its a win win situation 🙂

    1. Thank you!

      I quite liked Lagavulin! Luckily Gareth bought a huge bottle of it so I can try it some more 🙂

  4. I’ve never seen cows – or sheep – on the beach! How strange. What do they do there?

    Love the photos. I’d like to paint Tropic of Scotland!

    1. Yes! You and Hrodebert must come over! Bring yer easel!!!

      From what I could see, this particular set of sheep and cows were let down to the beach at certain times of day for a wander. The sheep seemed to eat the seaweed!

  5. Arrgh, must go to Islay!! Great photos, thank you, all those places are on the list for next Scotland trip. We have enough of the whisky, we need to visit those distilleries too.

    Did you come across a “resort beach” like Aberdeen has?

      1. We were last there in a very cold February, the beach was covered in snow, but still proudly proclaimed it as “Aberdeen Resort Beach”, which we found very funny. Couldn’t imagine that it’d be much like the Gold Coast, even in mid summer 🙂

  6. Oh, you are making me so excited about our upcoming trip to Scotland. Gorgeous!! Here I’ve just been thinking about the people we’ll see, but the country (and the scotch) are pretty darned compelling! Hoping we can figure out some way to see each other at some point that isn’t too stressful. Glad to hear the MIL is doing well.

  7. Fab pics. Those cows and sheep look delicious-they’d only be better if they were roasting on a spit:)

    Glad to hear Mary’s making steady progress.

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