Strictly speaking in terms of geographical and political definitions the Islands are part of the Scottish Highlands however with a total of 790 islands this complex area is separated out by the whisky industry (if not the Scotch Whisky Association). The Islands are in 4 main groups known as the Shetland, Orkney, Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides, these areas have been heavily influenced by Viking, Celtic and now English speaking peoples. Only around 100 of the 790 islands are populated and the largest is Lewis & Harris however the Isle of Skye and Isle of Mull are probably better known. The Scots Gaelic language is still widely spoken in the area however with only a population of 100,000 people the language has been in decline in fact they believe only 100,000 in Scotland’s 5 million population can speak the language.
They have been making whisky for a very long time on the islands however very few bought licences and did it legally as the islands were impossible to police due to their remoteness. A tradition of illicit whisky production continues on the islands even today.
Due to the wide geography between Shetland in the North and Arran in the south it is no surprise that whisky from the islands are difficult to define. All tastes are to be found in Island whiskies from the heavily peated to mild and fruity whiskies. The islands do have some household whisky brands on their shores such as Talisker from the Isle of Skye, Highland Park from Orkney and Tobermory from Mull.
|Isle Of Jura||Highland Park|
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