Torabhaig Distillery


History - This Skye’s second and newest distillery on the Island since 1830 when Talisker was established. Having a second distillery on Skye was the dream of Sir Ian Noble when he moved back to Skye in 1972. It did however take a long time for this dream to become a reality. First he bought 20,000 acres of land and a hotel at Isle Ornsay, which had been part of Lord Macdonald’s estate and in that time he fed his love for whisky by creating Pràban na Linne (Gaelic Whiskies) company, an independent blender and bottler of other distillers whiskies. It wasn't until 2002 that Sir Ian’s planning for Torabhaig was approved and he could start the conversion of a 19th-century listed steading, which had been unused for 60 years, into a working distillery. Tragically Sir Ian passed away in 2010 before building could start but the project now had a reason to be completed in hon-our of the man himself. finally in January 2017, overseen by Distillery Manager Hamish Fraser and Master Distiller Chris Anderson spirit ran through the new stills at Torabhaig almost over 40 years since Sir Ian had his dream. the distillery is owned and ran by Mossburn Distillers and Bottlers, who as well as operating Torabhaig are also in the process of building two distilleries at Jedburgh in the Borders.

The Whisky – Obviously it takes a long time for single malt whisky to be ready and these guys have only been making spirit since 2017 so it wont be to at least 2020 until we see anything from here and more than likely even longer. I also haven't seen any botanicals lying about so do not think a gin is on the horizon but i may be wrong. The company that own the distillery also bottle whisky from other distilleries to create their own brands under the Mossburn name. Last year they re-leased a range named The Signature Casks Series, its aim was to showcases the classic flavours and aromas of Scotland’s historic whisky regions. With these whiskies they even got Coopers to create special casks to bring out the particular flavour profile they were looking for. I would recommend trying the No.1 edition where they have utilised different whiskies from the Islands, which you can pick up for around £40.

Why Visit? – Last year, In April, they opened to the public for the first time. Tourism is booming on the Island so this was key for the distillery with a brand new café, shop and courtyard for visitors to enjoy. tours last around 45 minutes and cost £10. This is stunning location and they have done a wonderful job is retaining the steading original features. As always i would found ahead to book a tour to avoid disappointment.

Interesting fact – Sir Iain Noble was also the man who founded Noble Grossart, Scotland’s first modern merchant bank and was known as a leading figure in the promotion of our Gaelic lan-guage. He even introduced an employment policy on Skye of positive discrimination in favour of Gaelic speakers and was directly responsible for the erection of the first Gaelic road signs in Scot-land, and was the proud owner of the first ever Gaelic cheque book, issued for him by the Bank of Scotland.

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