The Isle of Tiree Distillery is home to one of the smallest, traditional whisky production operations that Scotland has to offer. Each part of the process is precisely handcrafted with a keen eye on the past but an enthusiastic vision of the future.
We hope in the coming years to build up stock of whisky produced using 100% Tiree barley as our trial cultivation continues.
Throughout the mashing process, the grain is hand-mixed, slowly with hot water in our oak mash tun before the wort produced is cooled and transferred to the stainless steel washbacks, which have a combined capacity of 1600 litres. The spent grain, or draff, is given to local crofters to use as cattle feed.
Once yeast has been added, the mixture is left to ferment and the wash is then transferred to our wash stills; two handmade copper pot stills from Portugal. The low wines collected from the wash stills are then added to our spirit still, along with feints from the previous spirit distillation. All of the stills are direct-fired, harking back to the traditional use of coal and peat as a fuel to heat the island’s stills in years gone by.
Our new-make spirit, unpeated as a nod to the modern legacy of the bygone distillers who once produced whisky in Tiree, is then added to a mix of Bourbon, Sherry and Virgin Oak casks, which will mature in the distillery warehouse, no more than 100 metres from the shore and separated from the ‘New World’ of Canada, to which many islanders emigrated, by only the great Atlantic Ocean. This environment, mildly influenced by the Gulf Stream yet cooler with the island’s famous breeze, ensures that Tiree’s climate is perfect for whisky maturation.
When the time is right, Isle of Tiree Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be bottled within the same distillery that the spirit was conceived, distilled and matured, for islanders and those further afield who are passionate about traditional, handcrafted whisky production to enjoy.