Scotland has over 800 islands and only on a handful of these islands whisky is produced. The malts ranging from being soft but refreshing to peaty, powerful and full-bodied. But what all these island-whiskies have in common is that they all have fragrant and flavor hints of their coastal locations; salty and maritime, with seaweed and iodine.

Historically, distilleries were all located close to the shore, since the only way to transport casks was by sea.

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Talisker, distilled on the Isle of Skye, is the most famous Hebridean malt. Further north are Orkney’s Highland Park and Scapa distilleries. The Isle of Mull houses Tobermory. Arran and Jura are the namesake whiskies from the Isles of Arran and Jura. Arran produces a lighter malt, which is comparable with a Speyside malt where the other island-whiskies are more peated.

The most recent distilleries on the islands are Abhainn Dearg on Lewis and Isle of Harris Distillery on the island of the same name. The last-mentioned distillery is a community project which also makes gin. The first batch (about 1.900 bottles) of Isle of Harris whisky, called The Hereach, is not yet available and is expected to be released mid 2019.

Isle of Harris Distillery.

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