The first recorded distillery was Bowmore, founded in 1779; the most recent was Ardnahoe, which opened in April 2019. Located in the north of the island next to Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila.
Islay’s distilleries are spread across the island; Bowmore, Bruichladdich and Kilchoman can be found in the heart of the island and three on the south coast – Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig – located next to each other, collectively known as the Kildalton Distilleries.
Ardbeg has been called “as close to perfection as makes no difference,” by whisky connoisseurs. In the past ten years, six different Ardbeg expressions have won prestigious titles including World Whisky of the Year, Scotch Whisky of the Year and World’s Best Single Malt.
The long-held dream of one Scottish family, Ardnahoe is the ninth distillery and opened in April 2019. The glass fronted bar and restaurant offers fabulous views across the Sounds of Jura to the mountainous Paps and beyond to the islands of Mull and Colonsay.
Within the No. 1 Vaults, you’ll find more Scotch history than anywhere else. A place of legend and craftsmanship, of beauty and reflection, the No. 1 Vaults is where Bowmore single malt Scotch whisky is meticulously matured until perfect. Their master distillers have been doing it that way since 1779.
Home to 4 unique spirits – Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore single malt whiskies and The Botanist Islay Dry Gin. Bruichladdich is the unpeated whisky range – floral and complex. Port Charlotte – the power of peat – and the legendary Octomore. Not forgetting the 22 botanicals that make up The Botanist Gin.
Our beloved Bunnahabhain — which means ‘mouth of the river’ in Gaelic, as it stands at the mouth of the Margadale Spring on the shores of the Sound of Islay — first came into existence in 1883. Bunnahabhain is the only distillery on the island to use pure, spring water.
Pronounced ‘Cull-Eela’, in 1846, Glasgow distillery owner Hector Henderson picked a little bay on the Sound of Islay for his distillery site. The little puffer ships made their round trips to the mainland – slowly helping to establish the distillery as the biggest on Islay. The distillery is situated on the North-Eastern shores of the island.
Kilchoman was the first distillery to be built on Islay in over 124 years. The distillery was founded in 2005 by Anthony Wills and is Islay’s only farm distillery, producing Single Farm Single Malt. Kilchoman is one of the few whisky distilleries in Scotland to remain independent.
Crafted for over 200 years in the rugged Hebridean Isles, Lagavulin is the definitive Islay malt—intensely flavoured, smoky and rich. Aged in oak casks for at least sixteen years, the result is an intense, peat-smoke aroma with seaweed and some sweetness, salty and sweet flavours with hints of wood and a long peaty-salt finish.
Laphroaig Distillery is renowned for the rich, unmistakable taste of its whisky which is the favourite of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and even bears his Royal Warrant. Laphroaig still employs the traditional methods and time-honoured skills that have been used for centuries to produce the most distinctive single malt in the world.
Learn all about our Islay dry gin; its history, production and the 22 foraged island botanicals that give The Botanist it’s exceptional flavour. Visit our gin still, affectionately nicknamed Ugly Betty, then enjoy a gin tasting and learn how to make two cocktails!
Islay Gin Ltd, which is a private family-owned Scottish business, is the first and only company solely dedicated to producing Gin on Islay. It was set up by Dr John Gow and his wife Dr Audrey Gow and is produced with traditional juniper berries, herbs and spices together with an infusion of wild Islay heather to create a unique Dry Gin of character.
Quality Beers, for quality people!
A small, traditional 4-barrel brewery. They rely on experience, taste and aroma to guide their brewing process. Try one of the beers in ‘18’ Bar and Restaurant – Nerabus Red Eye Ale, Saligo Golden Ale, Finlaggan IPA, Big Strand Craft Lager, Black Rock Stout.
With their love of Scottish produce (and the love of wine), this led to the creation of five unique Islay wines, made and bottled on Islay. These fruit wines compliment any meal but are equally delicious on their own, using fresh produce to really capture the essence of the Scottish ingredients of rhubarb and brambles.
There’s more to Jura Single Malt Whisky than water, barley and yeast. A little bit of our Island home, our community and passion makes it into every bottle. Their Signature range offers a selection of smooth, bright and lively malts finished in hand-selected casks from Europe and America.
Lussa Gin is an expression of Jura’s landscape. That means growing, gathering and distilling local botanicals. Using 15 botanicals they can grow or forage from the island’s hills, coastline, wetlands, woods and gardens. The result is a zesty, aromatic, award winning dry gin.