I Lagavulin I Bruichladdich I Caol Ila I Port Ellen I LaphroaigI Bowmore I Jura I Kilchoman I Ardbeg I
The Feis Ile was a great experience which left you fully satisfied. I really hope to be back on Islay next year again. For information on the Feis Ile, go to : www.feisile.org . Try to book well in advance. However, some open days are better organized than others. All distilleries are worth a visit but some are better than others.This rating is based on my own subjective opinion.
The distillery staff in Islay is the best I ever met in Scotland and hope to back again in 2006.
Winner ( )
Isle of Jura
Second in Class ()
Bruichladdich, Laphroaig, Kilchoman, Ardbeg
Caol Ila, Bowmore, Lagavulin
Last in Class ( and )
The open day in Jura was nicely organized, with all of the staff members involved and a lot of attention on the guests (tourists). The event was original and funny. A memorable event and an "have to do"!
The Port Ellen experience was unique and very enjoyable and at the same standard as the Isle of Jura one, but with less participants.
The challengers (see above)perfomed also very well, with Ardbeg missing some sun to really get the party going as well as some music. Kilchoman open day was a nice experience and different to the others owing to its special condition (distillery not yet completed). The Laphroaig and Bruichladdich events were slightly better than the two others and benefited from a sunny day, which created a nice atmoshpere. On the other hand, Bruichladdich would have gained from more personal involvment.
Bowmore organized a fair number of events, including the tasting of some excellent drams and nice storytelling in the Vault N°1. Unfortunately, the events were relatively costly and ran too fast. Nevertheless, the Bowmore open day was better than Lagavulin's or Caol Ila's open day, with Caol Ila being the worst one, with only a "snack-break" in addition to their regular toor. Caol Ila can do better.