Take a tour of Scotland’s island distilleries with Unfiltered columnist Ian Buxton

There’s nothing we like more at Unfiltered than the opportunity to take to the road to discover new distilleries and find out more about the places – and the people – who create the whiskies we love.

In our next issue you can follow our trail around the North Coast 500, where the established whisky route along the top north east of Scotland is being added to with a variety of new and up and coming ventures.

We also spent 2016 on a series of island odysseys, spending time exploring Arran, Mull, Skye and Orkney and meeting the islands’ whisky-makers.

So when Unfiltered’s very own columnist Ian Buxton sent over a copy of his new book, Whiskies Galore, we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Ian spends time on the island trail from Arran to Orkney and everywhere whisky-related in between, mixing up his lifetime of professional whisky knowledge with more personal anecdotes about the islands and what they mean to him – both in the past and the present.

The stories range from childhood adventures (learning how to fish with high explosives) to insider industry dealings (trying unsuccessfully to buy over Tobermory distillery on Mull), told in Ian’s light-hearted but informative way. 

For every distillery, he has a level of knowledge that increases your own understanding of its history, production or potential future, without ever resorting to the dry (ok, unreadable) catalogue of pot still sizes or lyne arm angles.

Expect the odd digression along the way – who knew Ian was such a fanatic about his pens and the colour of ink he writes with? – and prepare to be transported back in time both to the islands’ whisky-making past and then to where the industry is heading, with a rash of new island distilleries in production.

We could suggest any number of suitable Society bottlings to settle down with in the armchair and start leafing through Whiskies Galore, from something Oily & Coastal to anything from our Peated flavour profile. Whether you’re Young & Spritely or Old & Dignified, any whisky fan is sure to enjoy this taste of Whiskies Galore.

Whiskies Galore by Ian Buxton is published by Berlinn, £16.99 hardback

Look out for your new Unfiltered, coming your way soon, with a chance to win a copy!