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.
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. The result is the first expression of Tiree Whisky in over 200 years.
We, at the Isle of Tiree Distillery, hope to ensure no further years pass without casks being laid down; that islanders and others can enjoy, today and long into the future, a spirit once lovingly crafted by their ancestors.
Our First Release is due for release in January 2025. Pre-orders were released to newsletter subscribers on 27/11/23 and sold out within two hours.