There are few fence sitters when it comes to Islay’s single malt whiskies. People either absolutely hate them or they say that their typically peaty, salty and smoky qualities are sublime. This April I spent a fortnight on Jura — an island neighbouring Islay off the coast of Scotland — and just had to visit at least a few of Islay’s eight distilleries before returning home. And so, after the 15-minute ferry crossing, I wait at Port Askaig, which sounds big and grand but is scarcely more than a couple of jetties and a parking lot. The minutes pass and there is no sign of the taxi driver I had arranged to take me around for a few hours. My phone’s single bar of signal disappears. I venture inside the newsagent-cum-post office and ask the lady behind the till if she could call the taxi driver. On an island home to roughly 3,500 people, they might be related. When she gets through to him, he says he mixed up his diary and promises to collect me shortly. Sure enough, 15 minutes later he ...

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