A Whisky Lover’s Guide to Scotland: Discovering the Best Distilleries on the Isle of Skye

A question for anyone who’s fond of a stiffer tipple: what’s the difference between Scotch and whiskey? Well, Scotch is simply whiskey produced and bottled in Scotland. Only they spell the whiskey part without the ‘e’.

And for the best distilleries in Scotland, where you can sip this golden liquor at the source, look no further than the Isle of Skye. This magical part of the Herbrides may look and feel like another world (not to mention being quite the trek from Edinburgh) but it’s well worth a visit for those who appreciate a proper scotch whisky.

That said – our time spent exploring the Isle of Skye has also led us to many other watering holes that do not produce whisky, but are distilling spirits that capture the essence of Scotland equally as deliciously.



Talisker Whisky distillery
Credi: @Talisker on Instagram

Don’t worry about where the best distilleries in Scotland are or scratch your head wondering what do Scottish people drink on the Isle of Skye. Your first stop for a tipple should always be Talisker Distillery.

Talisker is the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye and its full-bodied single malt is a thing of beauty. You can plan your entire vacation on the Isle of Skye just at the distillery: multiple tours guided tastings, multi-sensory experiences, and even small group tutored tastings of Talisker straight from the cask.

And if you sadly can’t visit the shores of Loch Harport for the Hebridean Whisky Festival, you can at very least raise a glass to what you’re missing. The smoky, peated flavor is present in every sip, though the longer you let it sit, the more the sweet notes of pear and apples make themselves known.



Torabhaig, the second ever distillery on the Isle of Skye, invites you to taste a single malt that pays tribute to the isle’s bounty yet delivers a taste that is unique to any other glass in the Hebrides.

Traditional distillery tours are on deck, providing exactly what you want in your trip to Teangue, but it’s the whisky and chocolate pairing tour that really kicks things up a notch. Rather than muddle with its mineral, rocky taste and smoky, almost tobacco-like notes, the chocolate pairing enhances the experience.



Who said only scotch is made on the Isle of Skye?

57° SKYE earth + sea is rewriting the narrative and proving that there’s more to the Inner Hebrides than whisky. What do Scottish people drink at 57° SKYE? London Dry Gin.

The name should tip you off to the 57° SKYE earth + sea gin taste. Local botanicals from the isle like juniper, yarrow, ginger root, and hibiscus blossoms are culled from the ground while both smoked and dried laminaria digitata are sourced from the sea. The result is a glass of gin that tastes as refreshing as a Scottish breeze.

And those lucky enough to visit this Broadford Distillery may get a chance to sample a cask-finished gin.



Let’s double-down on the different distillers on the Isle of Skye and highlight another of the best distilleries in Scotland that do not bottle scotch whisky: Isle of Skye Distillers.

Its Misty Isle Gins and Misty Isle Vodka have won multiple awards thanks to the same handcrafted processes, fresh botanicals, and clear local spring waters that you’d expect all Isle of Skye spirits — whisky or otherwise — to use.

If you find yourself in Portree, we recommend hitting up Isle of Skye Distillers for a dram or two. Once you taste their triple-gold vodka and pink gin, stumble your way down to the village and learn how to distill these spirits at their Gin School.

Everyone comes back from Scotland with scotch; only you will return with a genuine Isle of Skye gin that you distilled yourself.


No, we haven’t had too much to drink and fudged the numbers. We’re going to bend the rules a little: both for the number of the best distilleries in Scotland on the list and their location.

The Isle of Raasay Distillery is located on, you guessed it, the Isle of Raasay. Due east of the Isle of Skye, you can easily visit Raasay by taking the CalMac Ferry from Sconser to Clachan.

The Isle of Raasay Distillery is less than a 10-minute walk from the port. It’s the first legal distillery on the isle which means its Isle of Raasay Single Malt and Isle of Raasay Gin bottles are full of local history.

Tours of the distillery are available, granting you a closer look at its copper pot stills and great views of the Cuillin Mountains across the water on the Isle of Skye. Those in the know will stay the night at the inn, though; overnight guests get exclusive access to the ground floor whisky lounge.