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An Irishman's guide to Islay For many it is the Mecca of whisky, a place of pilgrimage which produces smokey spirit unlike any other. Fanatics flock from far and wide to visit its rocky shores and windswept peat bogs, in the hope of imbibing their favourite drams at the source, and experiencing the unique Hebridean island which gave birth to such feisty, vibrant smoky whiskies.   Fortunately for an Irish aficionado, a trek halfway across the planet is not required. The isle of Islay is literally on our doorstep. But that’s not to say it’s easy to reach or simple to navigate. The same sea breezes which give Islay malts their famous briny character are also inclined to make visiting our nearest neighbour more than a little challenging. A visit to Islay is not for the uninitiated. Many the poor friend or partner dragged across the isle by an Islay malt fanatic finds themselves grimacing in shock when the first drop hits their unsuspecting palate. The bes
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