When you marry a whiskey man (or whisky man, as they say in Scotland) with whom you share an affinity for first editions, bedroom slippers, bran cereals, Ken Burns documentaries, gardening, and heavily peated scotch (we are essentially grandparents in the chrysalis) it’s tough to decide on a honeymoon destination.
Oddly enough, we both landed on a tiny island off the coast of Scotland through independent research (another beloved Hunt-Ralston hobby) and soon realized it would be the perfect spot to unwind after exploring the wilds of Ireland and bustling Brussels.
The Isle of Islay
Halfway between Ireland and mainland Scotland, the remote Hebridean Isle of Islay is home to whitewashed harbor villages, deserted beaches, windswept hills, ancient ruins, a visit here and there from Ron Swanson – and some of the very finest whisky and gin that this good earth has to offer.
We set out through the Scottish Highlands with our trusty Nikon D3300 and a notebook in hand and came back with the most unforgettable experiences, new friends, memories, and some seriously heavenly drams.
The 4-Day Scottish Routes Islay Tour
Read Mr. Ralston’s travel journal and tasting notes over on the ASW Distillery blog, learn about the Scottish Routes Islay Tour here, and find my favorite trip sips at the bottom of this post. Everywhere we visited:
The road to Islay
Around Islay + Bowmore Inn Bed & Breakfast
Peat fields of Islay
Cemetery-side honor-system coffee stand
The Islay Woollen Mill Company
Caol Ila Distillery
The Lagavulin 23 and 34 were my very favorites, but, alas, Iain told me these are tough to come by outside the warehouse casks — then he kindly passed a takeaway dram over. “What’s the best whisky in the world?” he winked. “Free whisky!” I replied with a grin.
Get the look
Also on this trip
Galway, Ireland | Killarney National Park | Edinburgh, Scotland
Trip Packing List | My Camera Kit