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Off the beaten track - Whisky Island

Ottobre 2015
Andiamo a Islay in Scozia, a bere whisky! A proposito: lo sapevate che la parola whisky deriva da un’espressione gaelica che significa “acqua della vita”? Proprio per questo non sorprende che in un’isoletta così piccola ci siano una decina di distillerie...

di Luke Philips © British Council

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Only 3,200 people live on the island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, but there are nine active whisky distilleries. They include: Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and Bowmore.
Only 3,200 people live on the island of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, but there are nine active whisky distilleries. They include: Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and Bowmore.

Speaker: Justin Ratcliffe (Standard British accent)

The smell of smoke mixed with the sea air as we stood looking out over the sea. Behind us was a group of low, strange-looking buildings. We were visiting the Laphroaig Distillery on the island of Islay off the south-west coast of Scotland.

WHISKY

The word whisky comes from the Gaelic “Uisge Beathe” meaning “water of life.” Although it has a population of only 3,200, Islay has nine distilleries. There are two main types of whisky, blended and malt. Malt whiskies are higher quality and more expensive. All the whiskies made on Islay are malts and, while they are different from one another, they all smell and taste of smoke and sea air. Laphroaig has the strongest flavour of all.

RICH HISTORY, RICH CULTURE

Islay isn’t only about whisky. The island has a rich history and there are numerous ruined castles and battlefields. Islay was the home of the Lords of the Isles, a powerful Celtic family who were largely separate from the rest of Scotland until 1615. The islanders are proud of their Celtic past and some speak Gaelic as a first language. There are various festivals held all year. These include a Malt and Music Festival, a Jazz Festival, a Book Festival and even a Beach Rugby Tournament.

ENJOY THE OUTDOORS

Outdoor lovers can also choose from sea-kayaking, walking, cycling, fishing in Islay’s lochs and rivers or in the sea, and golf. More than 100 kinds of bird live here, including golden eagles. You can stay in campsites or go wild camping, which, unlike in the rest of Britain, you’re allowed to do in Scotland. There is also a wide variety of other accommodation, from hostels and family-run bed and breakfasts to five-star hotels.

ENJOY INDOORS

Whatever time of year you visit Islay you’ll find plenty to do and, if the weather’s wet and windy, it’s the perfect excuse to have a glass of whisky, either in a pub or in one of the distilleries. You’re supposed to add water when you’re testing whisky, but we won’t tell anyone if you don’t!

Find out more at www.islayinfo.com


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Explains

Whisky o whiskey?  Qual è la grafia corretta? Semplice: quello scozzese è whisky, quello irlandese (o americano) è whiskey.

Blended and malt. L’whisky può essere blended, “miscelato”, ovvero realizzato da un miscela di prodotti provenienti da diverse distillerie, utilizzando anche cereali diversi dall’orzo, oppure malt (solitamente denominato “single malt whisky”), vale a dire prodotto solo con acqua e orzo maltato e proveniente da un’unica distilleria.