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Spirit of Skye

February 26, 2024

by MySkyeTime

In a place where whisky appears to reign supreme as the tipple of choice – a new spirit is emerging – one that playfully captures the very essence of the land. Skye’s craft gin scene is flourishing, with distilleries crafting unique blends that pay homage to the rich history and natural wonders of the island. To adhere to classification laws, Scottish whisky must be stored for a minimum of three years and one day before its release. This means that often, distilleries will create gin to make use of their facilities during their three-year wait. But with botanicals foraged from unique locations on the island, these spirits are more than just the support act – they all tell a fascinating story of time and place.

Talisker Distillery

Stormy Seas Gin

Skye’s original whisky distillery stands proudly on the shores of Loch Harport, and for a long time was Skye’s only (legal) distillery, attracting visitors since it’s establishment in 1830 – when two brothers from Isle of Eigg decided to create their own whisky, sick of relying on the popular yet inconsistent moonshine-style spirit that was being cooked up by local crofters. Robert Louis Stevenson visited the island in 1880, claiming Talisker as his favourite tipple, and from then onwards the reputation of the distillery grew and grew, until it became one of the most famous and revered whiskies in Scotland. 

Talisker have now ventured into the world of gin with the Stormy Seas Gin. Infused with the briny character of the surrounding seas, this gin brings a maritime twist to traditional botanicals. It’s a taste of Skye’s coastal charm in every drop, and like everything Talisker does, tastes deliciously different.

Isle of Skye Distillers

Misty Isle Gin and Tommy’s Gin

The iconic Misty Isle Gin is hand-distilled by Isle of Skye Distillers on the scenic shores of Loch Indaal. This spirit is as complex as Skye’s mist-covered landscapes, crafted with a selection of hand-harvested botanicals including juniper, coriander, and sweet orange – a sensory journey through the island’s diverse flora. 

This artisanal gin boasts a fusion of 11 botanicals in total including one which is top secret and only comes from the Isle of Skye. Take a sip and feel the cool, adventurous spirit of the Cuillin mountains.

Isle of Skye Distillers also distill Tommy’s Gin, a tribute to late owners’ father Tommy Wilson, served in the British Army during the Suez CrisisThis award-winning, small-batch craft Gin uses ingredients found locally. Tommy’s is made from poppy seeds and, as far as we know, it’s the only gin to use this botanical.

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Skye Spring Adventure

Skye Gin

The Storr

One of the latest additions to Skye’s vibrant gin scene is Skye Gin, The Storr. Made by the iconic Isle of Skye Brewery, this gin is named after one of Skye’s most impressive and well-known landmarks, the Old Man of Storr. With its towering rock formations and breathtaking vistas, The Storr exudes an atmosphere of romance and mystery, often cloaked in swirling mist. 

The gin is made locally – in the coastal village of Uig – and seeks to capture the essence of the area; blending botanicals inspired by the rugged landscape, including juniper berries, heather, and wild thyme. Skye Gin, The Storr, offers a taste of the untamed wilderness that defines Skye, making it a truly special addition to the islands craft gin repertoire. 

Isle of Raasay Distillery

Raasay Gin

Raasay Gin is a standout addition to the craft gin landscape, hailing from the picturesque wee Isle of Raasay, a small but stunningly beautiful spot nestled in between Skye and the mainland. Raasay Distillery and Visitor Centre was established by two friends; Alistair Day and Bill Dobbie, who selected the island as the perfect place to create their dream whiskies and gins due to the purity of its land, air and water. 

The distillery is about a ten minute walk away from the ferry terminal and is perched on a small hill, allowing for panoramic views across the Raasay Sound and to the Cuillin peaks on Skye. Crafted with care by the talented distillers at Raasay Distillery, every drop of spirit is produced, matured, bottled and marketed from the island – with nothing being sent away to cities or larger distilleries for finishing touches. Drawing inspiration from the island’s unique terroir, Raasay Gin captures the essence of its windswept shores and heather-clad hillsides.

The gaelic gins

Uisge Lusach

Uisge Lusach – Herbaceous water or “spirit” – is distilled in small batches using a traditional copper still, which was traditionally employed distilling illicit whisky, and now vapour infuses the Gaelic GinsThese gins are a testament to Scottish craftsmanship at its finest. The result? A well-rounded aromatic profile with Juniper beautifully balanced by a lemon citrus brightness and delicate notes of warming spice.

You can visit the to the Gaelic Gin Still house at Hotel Eilean Iarmain.

The shores of Loch Dunvegan, with the dramatic backdrop of the Duirinish Peninsula of Skye, is home to the Iconic Three Chimneys Restaurant.

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