Welcome to the Whisky Galore Tour 2019, the fourth tour, and it's becoming a bit of a habit. My first distillery visit this year was in New Zealand and while this website usually restricts itself to those in Scotland, I thought a quick mention of Cardrona wouldn’t go amiss.

For a change this year, instead of going to Islay in August, we went to the Islay Festival in May. This is a diverse programme featuring traditional music, ceilidhs, Gaelic lessons, golf, bowling and whisky tasting, but we were only there for the whisky. It's said that the normal population of Islay increases from 3,000 to 10,000 for the festival week. We booked for a week at Fairy Hill Cottage a full fourteen months prior to the 2019 Festival - and that was leaving it a bit late.

For the festival week, each distillery has a day when it ceases normal tours and lays on special events. These are usually advertised during April and they take online bookings gradually from about mid-April. In all cases numbers are limited and Bruichladdich, as an example, provides a ballot system for bookings so it doesn't matter when you book but you're subject to random selection. For other bookings it's on a first-come first-served basis. These are the bookings I made for 2019.

DistilleryTour NameSat 25th MaySun 26th MayMon 27th MayTue 28th MayWed 29th MayThu 30th MayFri 31st MaySat 1st June
LagavulinWhat makes Lagavulin15:30
BruichladdichFeis Ile Masterclass11:00
BruichladdichWarehouse Experience11:00
Caol IlaBlending & Maturation13:00
Caol IlaWhisky and Music pairing16:00
LaphroaigLaphroaig Chase11:00
ArdnahoeKinship Tasting19:00
ArdnahoeStandard tour10:00
BowmoreStandard tour15:30
JuraStandard tour11:00
BunnahabhainBoat Trip12:00
BunnahabhainDistillery Manager's Choice14:00
ArdbegBack to the 90s Tasting17:30all day


No obvious progress at Port Ellen but the expected date for re-opening is early 2021.

Wisp of smoke