Scotland’s labyrinthine archipelago of islands were obvious locations for distilleries, especially at a time when illegal operations were the norm. Just a scattered handful of these far-flung facilities remain now (excluding Islay) – although a few newcomers hint at an island distilling renaissance.
The Islands is a diverse region, though the single malts are usually rather rich. Smoke is a recurring theme, as is balance and richness. There is often a good peat, salinity and counteracting cereal sweetness. There are no hard and fast rules for the Islands, for the terroir and production methods differ greatly between distilleries.