Argyll and the Isles is known as the ‘whisky coast’. Fourteen world-class distilleries dot Argyll’s coastline. So what is it about Argyll and the Isles that makes its whisky so special? Perhaps it’s the water, the pristine environment or the skills that have been passed down through the generations. Whatever the answer, Argyll is whisky-lover heaven.
The different areas within Argyll each produce whiskies with a distinctive character, shaped by the local history, culture and landscape. Campbeltown whisky is defined by a smokiness with a touch of salt, Islay is famed for its peaty drams, Oban has a misty, briny character while Tobermory produces two very different malts: the lightly peated Tobermory and the more robustly peated Ledaig.
There’s nothing quite like sampling the product right there in the region’s historic distilleries and most offer guided tours ending with a large dram.
Islay is a famed world-wide for its peaty malts and has no less than eight distilleries and one on neighbouring Jura. Bowmore, one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, is a great place to see traditional whisky-making from the malting of the barley to the peat-fired kilns. See Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg - the 'southern distilleries' by following the Three Distilleries Pathway. Jura is just a short hop on the ferry from Islay and is home to the historic Isle of Jura distillery. If you’re serious about whisky don’t miss the Islay Festival of Music & Malt (26th May - 3rd June 2017), a brilliant celebration of Islay’s heritage, culture and – of course – whisky!
Campbeltown once had 34 distilleries, but today just three are left to maintain this regional subgroup of single malt whiskies. A guided tour of Springbank Distillery is a fascinating experience. It’s the oldest independent family-owned distillery in Scotland.
Oban and Mull
Oban Distillery nestles beneath the steep cliff that overlook Oban just a stone’s throw from the sea. It’s one of Scotland's oldest sources of single malt scotch whisky and offers a fascinating guided tour. Tobermory Distillery on Mull has an old-world charm. Its ten-year-old has a unique and mysterious character.
Argyll isn’t just a great whisky producing region. Craft beer and craft gin are made here too.
Find out more about Argyll’s distilleries.