Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Mayor of Islay - Feis Ile 2006

Bruichladdich Distillery’s open day, Sunday 28th May, will once again be an action packed day for islanders, whisky enthusiasts and visitors from as far away as Peru.

The day will be opened by the inaugural appearance of The Bruichladdich Dram-
busters acrobatic aerial display team and the Royal Navy bomb disposal team.

Chairman Sir John Mactaggart will officially open the private company’s new £350,000 bottling line required to meet increased sales growth

The high tech Italian-made machinery, part financed by AIE, is capable of bottling, labelling and packing 2000 bottles an hour. The original 2003 line has been retained.

Bruichladdich is the only whisky bottled on Islay. It benefits from the island’s legendary spring water that exploits a fissure in 1800 million year old Rhinns Gneiss.

Guest of honour will be Miguel Roman Valdivia, the Mayor of Islay. Not Argyll and Bute, but from the Pacific Coast of Peru - 7300 miles away.

Scot Professor Ian Dalziel of the University of Texas had already established a shared origin between the exotic rocks of Islay’s Rhinns peninsular and the Pacific Coast of Peru dating back 750 million years.

“Everyone thought it an April fool,” says Production Director Jim McEwan, pictured. “It seemed way too far-fetched: the same geological origin as Peru? And it’s called Islay? And they distil alcohol? Give me a break!”

“The Islay Peruvians were as astounded as I was. It feels rather like pulling a rabbit out of a bag, but the Mayor of Islay is as interested to learn about us as we are about him. He has after all travelled for 24 hours just to be here”

The Islay Community Council is exploring the possibility of formalising an association that will benefit the children of both Islays.

Both communities share surprising similarities. As well as their ocean locations, both economies are based on fishing, farming, distilling and tourism. Equally they are ignored by central government and hampered by poor transport infrastructure.

A special “valinch” bottling has been created to celebrate the Mayor of Islay’s visit, which will be available on the day to distillery visitors only.