Tarbert Distillery to open soon

Tarbert Distillery for Isle of Harris

Tarbert Distillery

Luskentyre Beach Harris

An Isle of Harris Distillery is planned to start construction later this year and with the creation of 20 new jobs can only be a boost to the Islands economy.

Government Grant

This good news followed the announcement by the Scottish Government of a £1.9 million grant to fund up to a third of the total building costs of the new project, and is the lion’s share of a total £2.4 million that has been allocate to several industries, including Findlater’s Fine Foods, Linlithgow; Sandyford Abattoir, Paisley; Struan Apiaries, Conon Bridge, near Dingwall and TM Fresh Direct, Carfin. As reported by the Scotsman

The Isle of Harris Distillery has been in the planning for a while and is to be built on reclaimed land. The whole project would consist of the distillery itself, a warehouse and a car park. It is not clear yet whether or not a visitors centre is planned but I would be very surprised if a project of this size did not have one. Water will be drawn from two disused reservoirs on the East Tarbert Burn

Production Start

It is expected that up to 90,000 litres a year will be produced and the aim is for the quality market. Watch this space! Production is expected to begin sometime in 2015. With the 3 years required to actually call your drink whisky then in theory we could be trying the first dram as early as 2018 but I am sure that most of us will want to wait a while for something a bit longer in barrel.

Whisky Making in the Islands

The history of whisky making in the Outer Isles is a bit chequered with the major landowner (James Matheson from 1844) banning all distilling and closing the only existing, Shoeburn, distillery. This is ironic because it is asserted that James Matheson made his fortune selling opium to the Chinese.

The first legal distillery to open in recent years is the Abhainn Dearg distillery at Uig on the Isle of Lewis (not far from the impressive beach)

Abhainn Dearg

Uig Beach

This however is a much smaller affair than the Tarbert distillery. It consists of a few brick built and tin roofed buildings in a pretty isolated corner of the Island.

There is no visitor centre as such but visitors are welcome and you can now buy the finished product. When we dropped in in 2011 only the “Spirit of Lewis” was available, the basic spirit that of course could not be called whisky. We enjoyed this as something we had not tried before, but look forward to a nip of the real thing.

The distillery took a bit of work to get a licence, not helped by the fact that it uses a former illegal still from  North Uist!

Off on a complete tangent if any of you have read the Lewis Trilogy by Peter May then a lot of the action in the final book The Chessmen is set around the Uig area.

Glen Garioch Vintage 1995 Limited Release Announced

Glen Garioch Vintage 1995

Glen Garioch Vintage 1995 Is the latest of a number of small batches from Scotland’s most easterly distillery. it is part of a policy of limited releases of whisky laid down before October 1995, when the distillery was mothballed for two years. The actual release will be limited to just 1000 cases worldwide and with … more »

Most Expensive Whisky Auction Ever, Its Official!

Most Expensive Whisky Ever

Guinness Book of Records, Most Expensive Whisky Auction The Guinness Book of records has long been established as an authority when it comes to world beaters. It has now been confirmed that it has recognised the most expensive whisky. World records are broken all the time but this one may stick for a while I … more »

The Angels’ Share, A Whisky Galore For Today

The “Angels’ Share” is a new bitter sweet comedy by veteran director Ken Loach. The film and the whiskies are all intertwined.

The film was partly inspired by the old British Comedy “Whisky Galore” (1949), which is one of the great all time British films.

It also however reflects Loach’s gritty style and his social values, with the underlying theme being the hopeless unemployment situation that faces so many youngsters in so many inner cities.

So why is this here on a site about malt whisky? That essentially is the centre of the whole plotline. The hero, Robbie (unknown Paul Brannigan) is determined to make a new life for himself after a bad, criminal start in young adult life. He has recently become a father and discovers a taste and skill in malt whisky. This is guided by his probation officer, ably played by veteran actor John Henshaw (John Henshaw _IMDB).

He determines to put this new found skill to good use, but instead more crime beckons. The other inspiration for Loach was the film “That Sinking Feeling” (1980) in which a heist of a load of sinks is featured. Sure enough The Angels’ Share also involves an attempted heist, but this time of a Million pound very rare whisky.

The comedy element is worked very well in this film and as in one of his earlier films Kes the interaction between the hardy probation officer and the young offender are done with great sympathy. I thoroughly recommend this film for those reasons, and the heartwarming parts are not to be missed either.

The antis? The Scottish accents are not exactly easy to follow for many and I do believe that subtitles may be used on its international release in the US! This apart it is a thoroughly enjoyable film.

This is reflected in its recent award at the Cannes Film Festival 2012.

So what is The Angels’Share? In malt whisky terms this is the amount lost through evaporation from casks during the maturation in barrel. 2% is the usual figure quoted and has become part of whisky folklore, so some long aged whiskies are bottled from barrels with less than 60% remaining. Whatever the truth there is no doubt that long aging certainly changes the character of any whisky.

The distillery featured in the film is Balblair and indeed some of their products are eye wateringly expensive but they also have some very affordable whiskies too. you can see some of these at the Whisky Exchange

Buy Whisky Online.

Highland Park Thor

Highland Park Thor

A new single malt from Highland Park, Thor is the first of a new range that supposedly harks back to the Viking roots of the Orkney Islands’ population.

This 16 year old single malt is the first of four planned releases in the Valhalla range, although there has been a blended whisky that was for duty free sale only called Viking. (See a theme developing?).

The bottle comes packaged in a special wooden box which is designed to resemble a Viking longboat, and no doubt adds to the price of the whisky. However as you can see from the photo at the top it is a particularly striking design.

At 51.1% it is somewhat stronger than your average single malt but the marketing describes it as “an explosion of aromatic smoke, fresh ginger, golden syrup and stewed plums”. (Their words not mine).

You can buy it direct from Highland Park or at the The Whisky Exchange

Source: awin1.com via Roger on Pinterest

Keep Walking Johnnie Walker Advert

Johnnie Walker Keep Walking VideoThis must count as one of the weirdest videos I have seen in a long time as a whisky advert. Or maybe it was never intended as an advert in the first place but merely a bit of artwork based around the theme.


Any way for what it is worth here is the video. Would love to know whatyou think of it. I thought Ardbeg was running some odd ones but this beats them all.


The director Shoujirou Nishimi is responsible for the overall concept and is famous for his Studio 4 oC and its surrealist work, including an up and coming film Berserk and the work Batman:Gotham Knight.


More information can be found at Crunchyroll.com HERE