What’s in a name?

I get a lot of guests asking me about my name, which is becoming a very popular one today. But when I was younger it was quite rare. A lot of people assume that I was named after the island of Islay, but in fact my name was inspired by something far closer to home and very close to my dad’s heart.

My father was brought up in a small village called Newmill near Keith just an hour’s drive from Grantown on Spey. When he was little he used to play in the river Isla with his friends, swimming, fishing and I’m sure he was getting up to all sorts of mischief. I’ve heard many a story about his adventures along the river and in the town. But he didn’t name me after the river. He named me after the most precious thing the river helped produce. Strathisla whisky.

The Strathisla distillery was founded in 1786 and the building has changed very little since then. It is a very pretty distillery, boasting cobbled courtyards and the distinctive pagodas, Strathisla is considered one of the most picturesque distilleries it is also the oldest in the area. Their 12-year-old single malt is considered one of the best examples of a Speyside malt in this area. With a very fruity overall flavour and a nutty finish. You will find this whisky on the shelves of connoisseurs as well as those beginning their discovery of single malts from this region.

For my father it is the whisky that reminds him of home and the memory of the smell of malting barley in the air while standing on the banks of the river Isla. I feel proud of my name and the importance it has to my father. So, while you are staying with us at Strathallan B&B, take some time to visit the wee town of Keith, walk along the river Isla and sample a piece of my family history.

For more information on Strathisla distillery and the tours they have available you can visit their site here.