The Scottish islands produce the best-known smoky flavoured single-malt whiskies. The biggest and most popular of these islands is Islay (“eye-lah”), located in south-west Scotland, which produces legendary whiskies like Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg, among others.
Single-malt whiskies are those made in a single distillery using barley, water and yeast and matured for a minimum of three years in oak barrels. Nine working distilleries on the island of Islay still produce whisky almost exactly as they did 200 years ago, when whisky was first made here by Irish monks for medicinal value (!).
Here’s a peek at the beautiful waterfront distilleries that are the sources of the finest single malts on earth. I went to Islay during Christmas (!) of 2012 with my good friend Tuhin Mukerji. We met at Glasgow and then took the Ferry from Kennacraig – Port Ellen. On the return, we exited from Port Askaig. Before leaving Scotland, we spent a few hours at Auchentoshan, one of the very few functioning ‘Lowland’ distilleries.