Island distilleries unite in launch of new Hebridean Whisky Trail

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A whisky trail incorporating three Hebridean islands and four distilleries is set to launch later this month in a welcome boost to the local economy.

The aptly named Hebridean Whisky Trail will take visitors on 115-mile journey, with the Torabhaig and Talisker distilleries on Skye twinned with the Isle of Raasay and Isle of Harris distilleries in a new tourism adventure with the whisky enthusiast in mind.

Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, is set to launch the trail at the Raasay Distillery on August 15.

She said: “The opening of the Hebridean Whisky trail is a fabulous achievement for the four distilleries and for the distillery workers and islanders who’ve made it happen.

“The trail is a wonderful addition to Hebridean tourism. Newcomers to Scotch Whisky and aficionados alike can enjoy visiting these uniquely island distilleries, each offering something quite different in terms of heritage, location and, of course, Scotch.

Mrs Betts added: “Whisky tourism is, of course, increasingly important to Scotland’s economy and rural communities. In 2017, there were 1.9 million visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries in our iconic whisky regions from all over the world, spending £61 million in the rural economy.”

The trail cmbines road and sea, with three Caledonian MacBrayne ferry crossings linking the destinations, and yacht berthing facilities available near to each of the distilleries.

Shona Macleod, guest services manager at Isle of Harris Distillery: “In just its second year, The Isle of Harris distillery welcomed over 80,000 guests in 2017 and we are pleased to be contributing to the growth in tourism in the Outer Hebrides.

“The Hebridean Whisky Trail will provide an impetus for whisky lovers to go that extra mile and visit the first legal whisky distillery on the Isle of Harris.”

Diane Farrell, Talisker Distillery manager: “We are lucky to live and work in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and to make one of the most iconic products in the world, Scotch whisky.

“We are delighted to work with our fellow distillers to welcome visitors to the Hebrides and to offer them the very best in Scottish hospitality.”