Scottish Whisky

Talisker Distillery, Carbost, Isle of Skye, Scotland

This was our second visit to Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye, May 2017.  Unfortunately or fortunately in my husband eyes, was the fact that had I lost my photos of five years ago, and I wanted to revisit to take more for my ‘Whisky Distilleries Category’.  So he was quite happy to stop on our road trip of the Island, so I could retake photos, but this time there were quite a few visitors, many more than before.  Whisky is now making quite a comeback and you would be amazed at the amount of different languages that you hear……its good for Scotland, especially for the islands, as it means work, in fact there are three brand new distilleries that I heard about, that have been built recently.  We did visit one which I will post about later, but back to our visit of Talisker.

A little history for you …….Talisker’s founders, brothers Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill were classic Clearance landlords. Having bought the rent of Talisker House on Skye and extensive lands in 1825, they set about forcibly shifting the resident population from their farms, either to new settlements at Carbost and Portnalong on the shores of Loch Harport and Portnalong, or off the island entirely.  In 1830, they opened their Talisker distillery in Carbost using the cleared populace as its workforce. Their venture into whisky-making was not a success and by 1848 the bank was in control. For the next three decades Talisker stumbled through a series of other owners who found it hard to keep afloat a distillery which is remote even by 21st century standards.  In 1880, Talisker’s fortunes changed when Roderick Kemp and Alexander Allen bought the distillery and proceeded to expand the site and construct a distillery pier – until then all the casks had to be floated out to waiting ships.  Eventually after many years a grouping of major blender morphed into Diageo.  In 1960, the distillery burned down and was silent until 1962 while it was being rebuilt, in to what you see now.  

May 2017

 

Glengoyne Distillery, Dumgoyne, Scotland

dsc_0734

Glengoyne Distillery is a picture postcard whisky distillery, which we visited in 2016.   It was a shame that the sky had clouded over on our arrival, but that didn’t take anything away from tasting this whisky, which is unpeated, due to the fact the water is unpeated and the malt used is similarly devoid of peat.  Which I actually liked, husband likes them peaty, but he still bought a bottle for his collection.

The Glengoyne distillery sits at the foot of Dumgoyne Hill near Loch Lomond. The distillery burn, as it is known, tumbles down the Dumgoyne Hill providing water for the 1.1 million litre capacity whisky distillery. In the past, the woodlands and undulations which covered the surrounding area gave superb shelter for the illegitimate distillations that were brought about by heavy spirit taxation. During the early 19th century, it is rumoured, there were as many as eighteen illicit Stills in the area. The whisky that came from these Stills was taken to the local blacksmith, who filled earthenware pots with the rough, wild spirit and employed local girls to walk the 14 miles to Glasgow with the whisky concealed beneath their hooped skirts. The dense woodland once provided shelter for Rob Roy MacGregor who secreted himself in a little hollow when pursued by the English army.

In 1833, the local farmer, George Connell was granted the license to legally produce whisky in the area. He founded the Burnfoot Distillery, which became Glenguin Distillery in 1861, then, in 1906, became Glengoyne. The previous owners Lang Brothers were acquired by Robertson and Baxter. The distillery was renovated and a further still was installed. In 1984, Lang Brothers received a Royal Warrant, having supplied whisky to the Queen Mother. In April of 2003, Ian MacLeod acquired Lang’s blended products and the Glengoyne distillery from the Edrington Group for £7.2 million.

dsc_0735 dsc_0736 dsc_0737 dsc_0738 dsc_0739 dsc_0740 dsc_0741 dsc_0742 dsc_0743 dsc_0744

Caol Ila Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland

dsc_0170

Nearing the end of our Whisky Tour of Isley, May 2016 and the one my husband really wanted to visit, was the very difficult to pronounce Caol Ila Distillery.  He really likes this whisky, we even had to drive down after it was closed, just so he could have a look, we had seen it on the ferry coming back from Jura and it did look quite intriguing, nestled in a small bay.  The next day we had a proper look and visited the shop for a couple of tastings

dsc_0541

Pronounced ‘cull-eela’ but say it very quickly and you just might get to hear how it should be pronounced.   The distillery is situated on the North Eastern shores of Islay, with magnificent views across the Sound of Islay to the spectacular Paps of Jura. 

dsc_0536

This is what the web site says……..Islay’s hidden gem, nestled down at the sleepy bay of Caol Ila lies the islands biggest distillery. Like all of Islay’s distilleries Caol Ila is surrounded in some if Scotland’s most beautiful scenery. Sitting on the edge of the sound of Islay, Caol Ila stands tall and proud alongside the fast flowing water separating Islay from Jura making it one of the most picture perfect settings for a distillery.  They are not far wrong, the scenery is spectacular, I should think, come rain or shine. 

Bowmore Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland

Carrying on with our whisky tour, we made our way to the south eastern shore of Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay, in May 2016, to the Bowmore Distillery.  Bowmore is the oldest distillery in Scotland, and established in 1779.  There is a very nice tasting area, with wonderful views over Loch Indaal, which you can gaze at, while tasting your whisky.  

May 2016

Lagavulin Distillery, Isle of Islay, Scotland

dsc_0229

Lagavulin is my favourite distillery on the Isle of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland, as there is a castle located behind it.  We were doing our Whisky Distillery whirl wind tour, in May 2016, to see if we could visit all eight distilleries on Islay and the one on Jura.  We went to the Whisky Festival on Jura, but the rest were just quick trips, to see if we could, we did all but one, Bunnahabhain, which was having it’s own festival and you couldn’t get near it.  It was a lovely surprise for me that there was a castle, not that I had time to explore it, but it will wait until May and then hopefully I can take some photos.  But I also liked the interior, well the part you can take photos, it still retains an old world feel, there’s a lovely sitting room that you can sit and taste their whisky.   

dsc_0240
Situated in a small bay near the south coast of Islay near the ruins of Dunyveg Castle, Lagavulin Distillery is thought to be one of the longest established distilleries in the country. Distilling on the site took place as early as 1742 and by the late 18th century there were up to 10 illicit still operating in the area. In 1882 the remaining two amalgamated to form Lagavulin.