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Issue 140 - The Hebridean Whisky Isle

Whisky Magazine Issue 140
December 2016


This article is 21 months old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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The Hebridean Whisky Isle

Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides and for such a small island packs in eight distilleries and a lot more for the visitor

In a country bursting with natural beauty, the Hebridean islands are the jewel in Scotland's crown. And being a whisky lover, Islay – nicknamed the Queen of the Hebrides – is the best of all.

Islay doesn't boast the sweeping majesty of mountains such as Skye's Cuillin range, or the Caribbean-like white sands of Harris, but what it does possess – apart from a clutch of world-class distilleries – is a quiet beauty, with its gentle hills, windswept golden beaches and beautiful Loch Indaal, the sea loch that separates Bowmore from Port Charlotte and Bruichladdich.

There's an openness and expressiveness to the landscape that can inspire you to sit still for hours, watching the weather rolling across the island from the Atlantic. The best place and time to do this is on a sunny day, by the water outside the Bowmore Hotel, with a dram in hand from their collection of over 700 whiskies.

Situated where it is, however, when a storm front rolls in, Islay can offer the most extraordianary weather which can easily be matched by the island's distinctive whiskies.

While the weather can be unpredictable, what you can be sure of on a visit here is a warm welcome, removed from the hustle and bustle of modern-day living, and those delicious peaty whiskies. Being a compact island, with planning you can cover a lot of ground in a handful of days, including all the distilleries.

To the serious business of distillery visits. Be sure to book your tours in advance, especially at b...

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