Whisky Magazine Issue 131
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Gavin takes us on a tour of the Western Isles
The Hebrides is an archipelago off the west coast of Scotland, comprising more than 50 inhabited islands, and divided into the Inner Hebrides – which include Arran, Mull, Jura, Islay and Skye – and the Outer Hebrides – embracing Lewis, Harris, the Uists and Barra. Culturally and geographically there is a great deal of diversity among the various Hebridean islands.
When it comes to malt whisky production, Islay has its very own classification, but whisky is also made on many other Hebridean islands, and they provide a great opportunity for lovers of Scotch and the Scottish landscape to explore and discover fascinating places, people and a wide variety of drams.
Most of the islands in question are served by CalMac ferry links (www.calmac.co.uk) and one of the most easily accessible is Arran, which is less than a one hour ferry trip from Ardrossan on the Ayrshire coast, itself a 35 miles drive from Glasgow.
The Isle of Arran is one of the most southerly of Scotland's islands, situated between Ayrshire and the Kintyre peninsula. It is often referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature,' since it embraces so many aspects of Scottish geography and topography, including pretty coastal villages, rugged mountains in the north and woodland and soft, rolling hills in the south.
Although Arran is less than 20 miles long and ten miles wide, it is thought that as many as 50 illicit distilling ventures were active during the 19th Century. The island did boast one legal disti...