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Raising a Glass to the Highlands and Islands

World famous for its whisky distilleries, the Highlands and Islands today are home to an increasingly diverse range of craft drink producers from artisan gin distilleries to pioneering beer breweries with a taste of everything in between.

Many, indeed, most, of these distilleries and breweries welcome all visitors and offer guided tours and tastings that get to heart of the traditions. Some of these tastings, such as those offered by the global malt whisky distilleries, can be a truly immersive and impressive experience, while with the smaller producers, the tour may be more personal, but just as much fun.

From Harris to Raasay, Orkney to Islay, the islands boast some of the finest modern distilleries, but it is in the east Highlands around Tain, Invergordon and Muir of Ord and on Speyside around Dufftown, Craigellachie and Aberlour that the greatest concentration of whisky distilleries can be found. In these communities, the aromas of distilling hang in the air today, while tales and traditions that begin way back in the days of illicit stills hidden in the hills and glens still resonate down through the centuries.

Laphroaig Distillery, Argyll and the Isles (Credit: VisitScotland/Paul Tomkins)

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