Ardbeg distillery

Ardbeg distillery mash tuns
Ardbeg distillery mash tuns

The rain pounded down relentlessly all night Saturday and all day Sunday. Camping was a non-starter so Christine phoned round the self-catering numbers and did really wall to secure a two-night stay in a small house in the town at a reasonable price. We had to meet the owner at 13:00, which left the morning free.

The A846 continues east for three miles after Port Ellen, with a distillery every mile, first Laphroig, then Lagavulin with Ardbeg at the end. The first two were closed on Sundays but Ardbeg’s lovely cafĂ© and fascinating tour saved us. We had to rush the tasting of this gorgeously peaty whisky at the end as it was already one o’clock and dashed back through the downpour, catching the owner, a very kind elderly lady, just as she’d given up on us and was about to leave. We dried out and had a late lunch, then awaited the promised improvement in the weather, which was illusory.

The Oa