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Many of the best Scotch whiskies of the world come from the island off the west coast of Scotland, Islay. Islay is pronounced eye-lah. Along with Jura, Islay is a home to many fantastic distilleries. This island is positioned in a perfect geography. Fertile soils and heaps of barely, the locals say that Islay is literally created for whiskies.
There are eight functioning distilleries which make Islay a perfect tour for whiskey lovers. If you ever plan to visit Islay, make sure you see all of these distilleries.
The hidden gem in the northeastern coastline, Caol Ila Distillery is the largest of all the distilleries on the island. It produces up to 3 million litres whisky per year. All the whiskies produced in this distillery are as light as they are flavorful. Situated just 1.1 miles from Port Askaig, Caol Ila is also popular for the breathtaking view of ‘The Sound’ and the ‘Paps of Jura’.
Ardnahoe is the newest distillery of Islay, located between Coal Ila and Bunnahabhain, on the banks of the Sound. You can enjoy spectacular views of Paps of Jura from here. The distillery is still under construction, but you can visit the distillery shop in Bridgend Square.
Secretly situated on the northeastern coast of Islay, 4.6 miles from Port Askaig, Bunnahabhain has old-world wonders. The breathtaking views, rich history of the island and some great drams are what you earn while visiting this distillery.
Kilchoman, Islay’s farm distillery is the only one distilling Scotland’s single farm single malt which is hand-crafted from barley grown in the surrounding fields. The distillery is full of character and charm. 16.7 miles from Port Askaig, this distillery grows 200 tons of barley each year.
Located in the southwestern tip of Hebridean Island, Bruichladdich Distillery is the home to Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore single malt whiskies and Botanist Islay Dry Gin. If you are travelling through the small village of Bruichladdich, this distillery is hard to ignore.
Built in 1779, this is the oldest distillery on the island. It is one of the very few distilleries that still features malting floor. This distillery was established by David Simpson who bought the land in 1766 and what happened after that is anyone’s guess.
Laphroaig is a Gaelic name which means ‘the beautiful hollow by the broadway’. It’s a classic island distillery with a lot of character. The whiskey-making tradition has been passed down by the distillery managers since 1815. The biggest charm of this distillery is the traditional dramming room in it. If you ever visit Islay, do not forget to try the Lagavulin 16 year old which reflects the true taste of Islay.
This 200 years old distillery claims the smokiest malt in the business. It is seen that Ardbeg distillery always push the boundaries to offer intense peaty crafts. The best to try out from this distillery is their Ardbeg 10 year old.
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