Aldrach Cottage Bowmore Legends
Aldrach cottage and Bowmore legends. Our self catering accommodation is situated on High Street Bowmore near to the famous whisky distillery.
Bowmore distillery is the oldest on the island, being established in 1779. Every year during the Whisky Festival people travel from all over the world and queue overnight to be in with a chance of a limited edition festival release.
True to its celtic heritage, Bowmore is steeped in myth and legend, which becomes infused into the whiskies names and labels.
So the chances are for those who are staying at Aldrach Cottage in Bowmore, you will be stopping by the Bowmore Whisky Distillery.
The Legend of Kranna Dubh
One of Bowmore’s most rare bottlings is the 30 Years Kranna Dubh Celtic Legends of the Sea Dragon Limited Edition, Single Malt Scotch Whisky 43.0% Vol, described as a legendary and outstanding whisky. Price tags for this bottling range from £1600 – to $14,000 making it a fine tipple indeed.
This 1990’s release was inspired by the tale of Kranna Dubh, a sea dragon that inhabited Loch Indaal thousands of years ago. Here is his story…
Kranna Dubh was awoken from a 1000-year sleep, from the depths of the loch, by Fionn Mac Cumhaill, a legendry warrior who threw a heavy boulder into the loch for his dogs to chase after. The dragon raised up angrily and fought with Fionn but lost his battle and was slain. The dragon’s blood seeped into the waters and legend tells of the loch turning red at sunset as a reminder of Kranna Dubh.
Aldrach Cottage’s Bedtime Tales
Romantic legends are the mainstay of many a celtic town or island and Islay is no different. Inspired by this story, we are sharing more legends of Islay for our guests to relay to their children as bedtime stories. These legends continue to be infused in the whisky editions such as the Bowmore Legends. These tales are taken from the Bowmore Archive.
Settle your little ones down in our Laphroaig twin bedroom and let the excitement begin….
The legend of the Laird and the Angel
A Laird who went in search of a bride happened upon a fisherman and his bride to be on the shores of Loch Indaal. As the fisherman was poor the Laird offered to buy her hand in marriage, to which he agreed feeling it was in her interests to be with a man who could provide for her.
As she pined for her lost love, the Laird set her the challenge to steal his soul and be free or fail to remain with him and love him deeply. That night, she asked her fisherman for his catch to which he agreed. She made a silver dress out of the shimmering fish scales. On seeing her in the dress, the Laird mistook her for an angel and pledged his soul, he promptly turned to stone, leaving her to be with her true love after all.
The Blacksmith and the Fairies
A blacksmith lived on the Rhinns of Islay who had a son that became ill with a mystery ailment. Drinking at the local Forge, the blacksmith noticed a wise old man coming in for a drink and asked him what he thought may be wrong with his son. An ancient method of diagnosis predating Google My Symptoms!
The wise man told him that fairies had kidnapped his son and replaced him with a Changling and that he would help him rescue his son.
They arranged to meet at the next full moon at fairy hill with a cockerel and a dagger. The blacksmith entered the fairies realm and they were angered by his intrusion, he demanded that they returned his son to him.
The enraged fairies hurled both him and his son out, throwing the dagger after them, closing the hill off for good.
The blacksmith and his son lived happily ever after, creating the most beautiful daggers never seen anywhere else.
The Legend of Donnachie Mhor
An illicit whisky distiller who lived in Bowmore had a nemesis in the form of the local customs officer.
Needing to replace his aging and leaking Still in which he stored his whisky, he hatched a plan. He buried his old Still on the moor and then tipped off the customs officer that he had changed his ways but knew where illegal whisky was being stored. One night, he led the customs officer to the moor, the officer delighted with this find, celebrated with a wee dram and gave Donnachie a reward. This money promptly paid for his new Still which was larger and still illegal so he had the last laugh.
The Legend of Godred Grovan
Goraidh Crobhan is an Islay hero, who was popular with Nordic and Celtic clans. At that time Islay was being attacked by a fierce dragon that hailed from a Den in Ballygrant. The dragon had decimated the island apart from three households. Goraidh decided to act.
He lured the dragon out of his den using three horses as bait. The dragon chasing Goraidh, ate each animal and as time wore on, the dragon got more full and more sluggish slowing him down and making him sleepy. As he got to the shore where is boat was moored, Goraidh lay several barrels from the Bowmore distillery with spikes in and as he jumped over them, the dragon followed landing on the sharp spikes and impaling himself.
There have certainly been many characters living and frequenting Bowmore. it will be interesting to think what future whiskies will be called based on today’s local heroes and legends.