If you’re looking for a UK winter getaway, Islay is home to a number of world famous Scottish whisky distilleries. Since the fourteenth century Islay has been fermenting grain mash into smooth, distilled, traditional whiskies. An island ideal for growing barley, Islay’s pure water sources, fertile lands and abundance of peat has put Islay at the top of every whisky connoisseur’s bucket list.
5 Whisky Distilleries Off The Peat-en Track
For over 200 years, Laphroaig Distilleries has been crafting the world’s most richly flavoured Scotch Whisky. Join in a one-hour tour of the Laphroaig Distillery and experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Laphroaig process. You can also test your taste buds in a flavour or premium whisky tasting with an experienced Laphroaig Host.
Situated in the picturesque Lagavulin Bay, the Lagavulin Distillery is well worth a visit. Take a tour of the distillery, watch the distillers at work and discover the rich peaty flavour of the Lagavulin magic. Nestled in a small and beautiful bay on the south of Islay, Lagavulin’s guided tours and local legend (Ian McArthur) will divulge all the secrets of their world famous malt.
Since 1815, Ardbeg has been distilling their distinctive single malt Scotch whisky. To get a feeling for the true spirit of Ardbeg, you can visit the distillery where their whisky is, has been and always will be crafted to perfection. With regular tours, a great shop and an excellent café, Ardbeg is a favourite among the whisky distilleries on the island.
Established in 1779, Bowmore is the first recorded distillery on Islay, and one of the oldest in Scotland. Renowned for its peaty flavour, Bowmore malts have been brewed the same way for over 200 years – carefully smoked in a peat-fired kiln. Bowmore itself is home to almost a third of the island’s population. Besides the distillery, it is well known for its white-washed houses, stone-built harbour and iconic Round Church.
Established in 2005, Kilchoman is the newest addition to Islay’s famous whisky distilleries. Not only is it one of the smallest whisky distilleries in Scotland, it is also the first whisky distillery to be built on the island in 125 years. Set on a farm on the rugged west coast, Kilchoman has gone back to the roots of traditional Scotch whisky distilling. From barley to bottling, Kilchoman farms its own barley and is one of only a handful of whisky distilleries still practicing floor malting. Unlike other whisky distilleries, Kilchoman¬ is the only distillery to complete all parts of the whisky making process on site.
If a tour of Scotland’s most notorious whisky distilleries is for you, you can book in to Islay Cottages’ self-catering holiday accommodation. Perfectly positioned in both rural Kilchoman and the main village of Bowman, you can make the most of Islay’s vast whisky presence in its small village setting.