First Hebridean Whisky Festival is a dram fine idea

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The first Hebridean Whisky Festival is to take place across the islands of Skye, Raasay and Harris this month.

Spread between the four distilleries along the Hebridean Whisky Trail, the festival will feature free tours, tastings, music, casks and special events at Talisker, Torabhaig, Isle of Raasay and Harris distilleries and the Aros Centre, Portree.

Launched in 2018, the Hebridean Whisky Trail is a spectacular 115-mile route set amid Skye’s stunning Cuillin mountains, Raasay’s beautiful coastline and seascapes and the famous white sandy shores of Harris, between May 21 and 25.

At the Isle of Raasay Distillery on Thursday May 23, whisky pilgrims can hop across the water to the youngest distillery on the Hebridean Whisky Trail for the launch of the exclusive new warehouse and whisky and chocolate tours.

Seasoned whisky connoisseurs and intrepid island explorers can enjoy the spectacular views from the warehouse terrace above the distillery across to the Cuillin mountains on Skye. Those with a sweet tooth can also enjoy the launch of the distillery’s new whisky and chocolate tour with delicious pairings of whisky and chocolate by Finlay MacDonald’s Glenshiel Chocolate Company.

The festival kicks off with two days on Skye at Torabhaig Distillery on Tuesday May 21 followed by events at Talisker, the oldest distillery on the trail, the next day, then at Raasay Distillery on the Thursday. Then you can follow the self-guided whisky trail route up to Isle of Harris Distillery on Friday May 24.

Meanwhile, in Portree, the Aros Centre will showcase the distilleries at a special Hebridean Whisky Festival tasting stand for the duration of the festival.

The festival finale is taking place at the Sligachan Hotel on Saturday May 25 in Skye. Here all four distilleries will come together in one place for a day of whisky tastings, Hebridean whisky cocktails, cask displays, craft ales and a visit from the Isle of Skye Pipe Band.

The festival will offer a chance to try all the spirits, as well as other local brews from Cuillin Brewery, sweet treats and delicacies from the Skye Smokehouse.

The festival will conclude in true Hebridean style with a ceilidh into the night at the Sligachan Hotel.

These events are free entry and festival-goers can choose to experience part of the festival or follow the full trail over five days by land or sea.