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6 days discovering Scotland's whisky distilleries by superyacht

6 days discovering Scotland's whisky distilleries by superyacht

Day 1
/6

Oban Distillery, Oban

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Oban, Scotland

The west coast of Scotland is a whisky-loving superyachter’s paradise. The biggest problem is not what to see but what to cull reluctantly from the itinerary. One could spend months here without getting bored and without supping the same whisky twice. The area recently attracted Roman Abramovich who spent five days on a luxury yacht in Scotland.

There are well over a dozen distilleries dotted along the coast and in the islands that make up the Inner Hebrides, each offering a warm welcome. And as you cruise between them you’ll see spectacular sunsets, as well as killer whales, basking sharks and dolphins and, nearer the shore, otters, seals, eagles and puffins.

Day one: Oban Distillery, Oban

You will probably start your voyage in Oban snugly situated in the Firth of Lorn and sheltered from the worst of any weather by the island of Kerrera. There has been a distillery in the town since 1794 and a dram of Oban 14 Year Old will make the perfect start to your journey: intense, sweet and fruity with just an iodine hint of the salty sea. Pack a couple of bottles on board, just in case.

Picture courtesy of Fiddlemily/Shutterstock.com

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Day 2
/6

Jura Whisky, Isle of Jura

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Jura Whisky, Isle of Jura

Next stop will be the slipway at Feolin, on the rugged, barren Isle of Jura, which is home to only one distillery, the eponymous Jura Sample the range, from the entry-level 10 Year Old Jura Origin, to the oily, smoky, heavily peated Jura Prophecy and the bizarrely tasty Jura Brooklyn, finished in American white oak bourbon, amoroso sherry and pinot noir casks.

Lunch in the Jura Hotel in Craighouse is a must, if only for the local langoustines, lobster and Islay crab. Then take a taxi to the north of the island to visit remote Barnhill, home to the writer George Orwell during the late 1940s. Orwell relished the house’s isolation and finished his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four here, famously declaring that Jura was “extremely ungetatable”.

PIcture courtesy of Jaime Pharr/Shutterstock.com

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Day 3
/6

Ardbeg Distillery, Isle of Islay

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Ardbeg Distillery, Isle of Islay

Next is Islay. It’s only a five-minute hop across the water to Port Askaig on Islay’s east coast. Moor here or sail round to Port Ellen in the south where the marina can take large yachts. Stretch your sea legs with a bracing three-mile walk to Ardbeg Distillery, passing Lagavulin and Laphroaig along the way. Then get stuck into a seafood chowder, whisky cured gravadlax or shellfish platter at Ardbeg’s Old Kiln Café.

You’ll get a good sense of why the whisky tastes the way it does here. It’s no coincidence that Ardbeg has a notable salty tang to it given that the sea breaks on the cobbles of the old jetty just yards from the tasting room. This jetty is suitable for tenders, so you can head straight back to your superyacht or play a quick round at nearby Islay Golf Club.

Picture courtesy of Jaime Pharr/Shutterstock.com

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