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The whisky coast

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, this is whisky-lover heaven, with 14 world-class distilleries dotting what’s known as the ‘whisky coast’.

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. It’s a great way to discover how the history, culture and landscapes of the region have shaped the distinctive whiskies.

Islay is a famed world-wide for its peaty malts and has no less than nine distilleries, many of them in stunning locations. 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. It’s well worth crossing the water to visit the tiny Isle of Jura Distillery as well.

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 an absorbing experience. It’s the oldest independent family-owned distillery in Scotland and the only distillery in Scotland to carry out the full production process, from malting to bottling, on site.

Further north, Oban Distillery sits at the heart of the town and offers a fascinating guided tour, as does the charming Tobermory Distillery on Mull. Its ten-year-old has a unique and mysterious character and will surprise discerning malt lovers the world over.
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Iain Johnston Iain
Kintyre & Gigha
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Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg Distillery
Follow your nose along the most famous road in the history of malt whisky and eventually you’ll arrive at Ardbeg. Located on the rugged shoreline at the southern...
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Bowmore Distillery
Bowmore Distillery
Founded over two centuries ago in 1779, Bowmore is the first recorded distillery on Islay and one of the oldest in the whole of Scotland. Islay malts are renowned for...
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Bruichladdich Distillery
Bruichladdich Distillery
Bruichladdich Distillery sits on the shore of Loch Lindal on the west of the island. Built in 1881 by the Harvey brothers, the original building was considered state-of...
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Bunnahabhain Distillery
Bunnahabhain Distillery
The remote Bunnahabhain Distillery is situated in the north of Islay above Port Askaig. Bunnahabhain is Gaelic for river mouth, and the river runs just north of the...
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Caol Ila Distillery
Caol Ila Distillery
Caol Ila, pronounced col eela, is Gaelic for ‘sound of Islay’. The distillery’s name relates to its beautiful location. Sitting on the edge of the...
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Glen Scotia Distillery
Glen Scotia Distillery
Glen Scotia is one of the last three working distilleries surviving in Campbeltown, which at one time rivalled Speyside for the number of distilleries and output of...
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Hebrides Cruises
Hebrides Cruises
Cruise some of Argyll & The Isles’ most spectacular waters with Hebrides Cruises. In the capable hands of a highly experienced crew, aboard the sturdy vessel...
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Jura Distillery
Jura Distillery
On an island just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long, there is but one road, one hotel and one distillery. It's well worth making the effort to visit this distillery....
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Kilchoman Distillery
Kilchoman Distillery
Kilchoman, (pronounced kilhoman) established in 2005, is a farm distillery and the first to be built on Islay for 124 years. Kilchoman gives everyone the opportunity to...
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Lagavulin Distillery
Lagavulin Distillery
Lagavulin Distillery can be found sitting in the beautiful bay of Lagavulin at the south of Islay near the ruins of Dunyveg Castle. It’s thought to be one of the...
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Laphroaig
Laphroaig
For nearly 200 years a small team of dedicated islanders have worked in this distillery to create what is considered by some to be the most distinctive single malt in...
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Mitchell's Glengyle Distillery
Mitchell's Glengyle Distillery
Mitchell’s Kilkerran (Glengyle) Distillery originally operated in Campbeltown from 1872 to 1925. In 2004, the owners of Springbank Distillery re-opened Glengyle....
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Oban Distillery
Oban Distillery
Nestling beneath the steep cliff that overlooks Oban, one of Scotland's oldest sources of single malt scotch whisky is but a stone's throw from the sea. Take a...
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Springbank Distillery
Springbank Distillery
Springbank Distillery is unique. It's the oldest independent family-owned distillery in Scotland. Founded in 1828 on the site of Archibald Mitchell's illicit...
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Tobermory Distillery
Tobermory Distillery
Established in 1798, Tobermory is the only distillery on the island and one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. Its old-world charm reflects the...
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