Lagavulin apprentice’s ‘best job in whisky world’

It takes a long time to make a good whisky, and it took John Parkinson a long time to land his dream job.

Living the dream: Iain and John. Picture: Contributed

At 71-years-old, John was given the opportunity to spend some time on the beautiful island of Islay learning about the process and acting as apprentice to Lagavulin Distillery warehouseman, Iain McArthur.

Lagavulin gave away the opportunity to win “the best job in the whisky world” which John, from Durham, was lucky enough to win beating 10,000 other applicants to win the competition which received over 100,000 votes.

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Iain McArthur said: “John’s application demonstrated a real passion for whisky and an outgoing approach which I’m really excited about.”

Living the dream: Iain and John. Picture: Contributed

Drinks expert, Iain opened his doors to share some of the secrets of whisky making for the first time. John was put straight to work in his new role, trying his hand at peat-cutting, whisky tasting, distilling and, of course, the job of every new apprentice - tea-making.

John said: “This was definitely an experience I will remember and savour for the rest of my life, I thoroughly enjoyed my Lagavulin apprenticeship on this magical island and encourage everyone to fulfil their dreams, whatever your age”.

Islay, known as “Queen of the Hebrides” is world famous for its whisky. Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Bruichladdich and Kilchoman all have distilleries on the island.

Isle of Islay. Picture: Ian Rutherford