TV report “Whisky boom on Islay”

TV report “Whisky boom on Islay”

Maybe you recognized me on TV yesterday.

Last October I was able to broaden my whisky horizons with whisky lovers from all over the world at Rachel MacNeill’s Residental Course at the Islay Whisky Academy. We were accompanied by a German camera team.

The resulting Arte report from 12.01.2023 reports on the “dark side of the whisky boom on Islay”. The existing nine distilleries are continuously expanding their production capacities. Five more are planned and some are already under construction. The existing infrastructure is overloaded and the residents are annoyed.

The report has been available in the media library since yesterday

Islay is my happy place. I have been visiting the island several times a year since 2009. It’s not just the whisky that draws me there, but also the dramatic landscape and the warmth of the locals.

Over the last few years, I have seen how much the island has changed into a “Disneyland for whisky fans”. Crowds flock to the island, especially during the festival season in May. The ferry connections, served by outdated ferries, are overloaded. The former cultural festival “Feis Ile” is focusing more and more on whisky alone.

Can I condemn that? No, I am part of the problem myself. Through my consumer behavior, my whisky blogging and not least through the purchase of casks on an overheated market.

Let’s face it, whisky is a business. And everyone tries to get their share of the cake. Me too.

However, I am aware of my behavior and the problems it causes. That’s why I try to make my small contribution to a better whisky world by focusing on sustainability.

However, contrary to popular belief, sustainability is not just synonymous with environmental protection. This term, which originally comes from the forestry industry, refers to a principle of action for the use of limited resources. The ecological, economic and social aspects must be balanced.

So for Islay, the question is how to reconcile full employment and relative prosperity with the protection of its unique flora and fauna and stunning scenery, and the need of its people for peace and privacy, the protection of their culture and language.

What do you think about the “whisky boom on Islay”?

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