The Ultimate Islay Experience
Islay Whisky Tours, Private Bespoke, Tailor made to our guests requirements.
Taking you on this spectacular whisky tour to Islay from Glasgow or Edinburgh. We’ll guide you through west highland landscapes, along glimmering lochs, through sweeping mountain glens and past historic castle ruins, before finally crossing the Sea of the Hebrides to arrive on the unique whisky Isle of Islay.
Islay is one of many small islands off Scotland’s west coast but it certainly stands out from the crowd. Just 25 miles in length, its rocky bays and sheltered inlets house eight active distilleries. It is perhaps only fair then that industrious Islay has long been crowned Scotland’s ‘whisky island’.
According to legend, monks first brought the art of whisky distilling to the island from Ireland – which on a good day you can see from Islay’s south west coast. On arrival, they found it to be more than suitable for the purpose of distilling aqua vitae – the water of life – thanks to its abundance of peat, fresh spring water and barley grown by local crofters.
Islay single malts are renowned for their smokiness on the nose and palate with faint notes of sea air and seaweed. Peat is Islay’s signature in the world of whisky. The result of a peated malt is a flavour infused with rich smokiness that varies considerably from distillery to distillery, as each has its own unique techniques of production.
Islay whiskies generally reverse the characteristics of Speysides, tending to be dry and peaty; behind the smoke, however, can be gentle mossy scents, and some spice. The southern Islay distilleries produce powerfully phenolic whiskies, with aromas redolent of tar, smoke, iodine and carbolic.
There are currently nine working distilleries on Islay, with two more planned to open in the next couple of years. The first recorded distillery was Bowmore, founded in 1779, the most recent was Ardnahoe, which was established in 2018.
We offer the opportunity to create your own unique Scotch whisky experience. Each guest has an entirely different set of expectations and requirements, so we’ll work closely with you and ensure to deliver the best possible experience.
During the summer months most distilleries have a silent season when there is no whisky production for a number of weeks. Distillery tours still operate but without production in the background.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TOUR IS NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN (UNDER 18S).