Scotch Whisky Distilleries of the Inner and Outer Hebrides
The Inner and Outer Hebrides are not only a picturesque but are also home to some of the best single malt whisky in Scotland. Here you will find several different whisky distilleries, and while the white-washed walls, dark wooden beams and strong whisky smell might seem almost the same from distillery to distillery, the experience offered within each building certainly does differ. Some of these distilleries are extremely old and visitors often marvel at the massive, shiny copper stills or the large old wooden wash stills. If you are a lover of single malt whisky then a whisky tour on the Hebridean Islands is an absolute must.
Smugglers were distilling whisky here way back in 1794, though officially the Ardbeg Distillery was started in 1815. Located about four miles out of Port Ellen, Ardbeg distillery nestles in a rocky cove on the Island of Islay's southern tip. The island lies off the west coast of Scotland.
Morrison Bowmore Distillers firmly believe that the peat, the rock and the people of Islay have made Bowmore Single Malt the special drink it is. Add to this the age old pure waters of the Laggan River, the patient maturing over decades that Bowmore spends in oak casks and the meticulous hand turning of the barley with the traditional wooden malt shovel - and you have a subtle warm and smoky whisky, one of the finest in the world.
Bruichladdich is known as The Sophisticated Islay and is a multilayered whisky with the complexity of fine wine. This is perhaps to be expected as some of the present owners of this Islay distillery are from the wine trade. Bruichladdich is proud of a 100% Island of Islay product - from barley to bottle. The only Islay distillery to bottle its own whisky, Bruichladdich has a creamy texture and long finish making it a favorite with whisky drinkers.
The Caol Ila Distillery gets its name from its location on the Island of Islay. Caol Ila, pronounced as 'kul-eela', is Gaelic for “Sound of Islay”. It nestles in a quiet isolated cove near Port Askaig, on the north-east corner of the island. Built in 1846 by Hector Henderson it has seen many changes in ownership but rarely stopped production. In 1857 the distillery was purchased by Bulloch Lade & Co. who rebuilt and expanded the distillery.
The Isle of Jura Distillery is one with a mission. It was started with the intention of providing employment to the locals and also to produce a Highland whisky that was not as peaty as the rest – but distinctive. It seems to have achieved both with some success. Jura is a magical remote island off the west coast of Scotland, where distilling whisky is at the core of the community.
The secret of Lagavulin is the slow pace at which every process is completed. There is no rushing here and the resultant dark ambrosia is unique whisky. Located in Port Ellen, Islay, since 1816, the distillery occupies six acres of the island, at the head of a small bay near the south coast of Islay. It is owned by White Horse Distillers, Glasgow, makers of a number of other popular whiskies, but none as unique as what is produced here.
Laphroaig, pronounced ‘la-froyg’, is Gaelic for “the beautiful hollow by the broad bay”. This town lends it name to the exceptional single malt from the tiny Island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. The inimitable whisky is distilled and bottled by the original founders of the distillery, D. Johnston & Co. The distillery is located in a broad depression on the south coast of Islay, with its own sea loch and peninsula. It was started in 1815 by two brothers Donald and Alec Johnston.
Tobermory Distillery has been around since 1823 but has been closed for nearly half that time, considering the number of spells it has been non-functional. The only distillery on the incredibly beautiful Isle of Mull, off the west coast of Scotland, Tobermory is now owned by Burn Stewart Distillers.