For me, a trip North of the border always involves trying a different whisky. Since marrying a Scot, I have travelled North of the border a lot more frequently and not only have I had a few more wee drams, but I’ve also learnt a lot more about Single Malt Scotch whisky.
In the Hebrides, we’re treated to a vast range of whiskies to suit most pallets. From salty coastal malts in the Outer Hebrides to unforgettable fiery, heavily peated whiskies of Islay, there is no better way to sample these variations than with a sailing tour of some of the world’s finest island distilleries.
Now, I am by no means an expert, and I am about as far from being a whisky sommelier as you can be, but in my short time trying whiskies, these fall into my list of favourites:
Abv – 46.3%
Released in early 2019, this 12-year-old single malt from Tobermory was launched in celebration of the distillery returning to life after a two-year break. Matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, its fruity and spicy character with a subtle, salty edge leaves a lasting impression on the pallet.
Bowmore 26-Year-Old – The Vintner’s Trilogy
Abv – 48.7%
As the world’s oldest scotch maturation house, Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults is the birthplace of coveted and collectable whiskies.” Bowmore’s Vintner’s Trilogy showcases the impact of lengthy wine-cask-finishes on the terrific Islay single malt. The 26-year-old expression began its maturation in ex-bourbon barrels for 13 years, before being moved over to French oak barriques (that previously held wine) for the remaining 13 years.”
Abv – 57.1%
Creamy yet powerfully peaty, Ardbeg’s Corryvreckan reminds me of my first taste of “real Scotch”. Named after the famous whirlpool, that I’ve nearly fallen victim to twice during the Three Peak’s Yacht Race, it’s “swirling aromas and torrents of deep, peaty, peppery taste lurk beneath the surface of this beautifully balanced dram.”