Whisky Island Hopping adventure
Whisky Island Hopping adventure If you'd like to visit the island distilleries offering tours, then be sure to check out our Island Hopping options - where you can island hop your way from one distillery to another with our special ticketing options. Find out more here
The origins of Scotland's national drink - whisky - dates back to the 15th Century, when farmers distilled their surplus grain at the end of the harvest season. Fittingly, the resulting spirit was known as uisge na beatha which translates as 'the water of life'. These days, whisky is the country's biggest export - finding its way to whisky lovers all over the globe. At the same time, Scotland is also becoming renowned for high quality gin. So much so, 70% of gin produced in the UK is now made in Scotland. Both spirits are borne from the skill of the master makers, passed down through generations, and Scotland's abundance of unspoilt natural resources -from our pastures to peat, to our water and wood. Happily, the west coast is a fantastic location to explore some of the best whisky and gin offerings.
Firth of Clyde
Lochranza's Isle of Arran Distillers and Lagg Distillery in Kilmory have revived the ancient tradition of whisky making on the island. Arran Gin - a craft gin created by four locals, passionate about locally-sourced produce is another addition to the incredible drink, and food, produced on this island.
The one time 'whisky capital of the world', Campbeltown, Kintyre remains a significant whisky-producing region, with three whisky distilleries still in operation. It's also home to one of the youngest Scottish craft gin producers -Beinn An Tuirc Distillers, producing Kintyre Gin.
Islay - Queen of the Hebrides and a whisky region in its own right, Islay is one of the best known whisky locations in the country and the world. It's famed for its peaty, smoky drams, with several world famous distilleries, one of which is now producing gin, too - the Botanist.
Jura is home to the producers of Lussa Gin - made using botanicals foraged on the island, as well as the Isle of Jura Distillery, which dates as far back as 1810.
The tiny and remote island of Colonsay, home to 125 people, boasts two gins - Colonsay Gin, handmade in small batches of 160 bottles, and Wild Island Botanic Gin.
Tiree was once known as Tir an Eòrna - the land of barley - on account of its crops and its whisky heritage, which has now been preserved by the Tiree Whisky Company - offering both whisky and gin.
Mull's Whitetail Spirits Ltd are the producers of Whitetail Gin made using sustainably sourced botanicals native to the island, pine needles from the Tiroran Estate and sea-kelp from the shores of Loch Scridain.
Located on the most westerly peninsula of the British mainland is the Ardnamurchan distillery. It's a bottler of rare single cask and limitededition single malt whisky. It's also due to release its own single malt in 2021.
Skye, Raasay and the Small Isles
The Isle of Skye Distillers are based in Portree.It's the island's first gin distillery - producing Misty Isle Gin using the waters from the nearby Storr Loch. When it comes to whisky - Skye does not disappoint - Tallisker and Torabhaig distilleries are native to the island.
The tiny island to the east of Skye has a long history of illicit distilling - these days, things are more above board with both The Isle of Raasay Gin and The Isle of Raasay Distillery. The latter is due to release its inaugural single malt in 2020.
The isle of Harris Distillery are producers of the award-winning Isle of Harris Gin - made by five local distillers. Its whisky offering - 'The Hearach' revive the tradition of whisky distilling on Harris after a 170-year hiatus.
The North Uist Distillery Co are the makers of Downpour Gin. The company is run by islanders who plan to build a future distillery on the historic 'Illeray Common Grazing' land.
Check out all of our Destinations and Island Hopping adventures to see what float's your boat or go ahead book your full-filled trip.