Follow VisitScotland

A taste of a nip around Islay

Press Release   •   Apr 26, 2018 09:08 BST

Ardbeg distillery, Islay

One of the rarest blended malts in the world, created by the world’s first circumnavigational swim of the 100-mile coastline of Islay, has been released, and VisitScotland believe this will encourage visitors to make their own adventures to the island.

Explorer’s Cask, made up of whisky from all eight of Islay’s operational distilleries, has officially been launched. The whisky was made after three adventurers swam around the Isle, stopping at distilleries along the way to create a unique cask.

Supported by VisitScotland, Explorers Club members Chad Anderson and Justin Fornal, along with fellow swimmer Johnnie Mundell, completed the expedition in July 2017 in just eight days. With a quarter cask in tow, they started at Ardbeg Distillery and made their way clockwise around the Queen of the Hebrides, taking in seven more distilleries, before returning to Ardbeg to celebrate their historic achievement.

A film crew followed the explorers and a documentary will be released later this year. The national tourism organisation hope the film and the unique blended malt will showcase the Isle of Islay’s remarkable whisky offering, wildlife and dramatic coastal seascapes to visitors across the world.

Home to eight working distilleries, Islay is best known for its peaty, smoky whiskies, which many consider to be the best in the world. The island is perfectly placed for whisky production, with its pure water source, sea spray and fertile lands for growing barley. The distilleries welcome visitors to watch the production process and, even better, sample their delights.

The expedition was inspired by Alfred Barnard, who walked round the island by foot in the 1880s while writing his canon, The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom.

Marrying for nine months, the whisky is now on pre-sale with 145 bottles available to those who enjoy the taste of adventure. All money raised from the sale of the Whisky will go to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Whisky is one of Scotland’s most valuable commodities with visitors from all over the world coming to the country to experience an authentic Scottish dram. A culinary icon, it remains as important as ever to the tourism industry with one in five visitors making a trip to a whisky distillery during their stay and even more visiting a bar, pub or restaurant to sample the renowned national drink.

David Adams McGilp, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “With its beautiful landscapes, world class seafood and incredible whisky offering, Islay is a fantastic place with something for everyone.

“We were delighted to help these daring explorers and I hope their adventure, along with this this rare, blended malt, will inspire visitors from across the world to enjoy the wonders of Islay for themselves.”

Chad Anderson, Explorers Club member, said: “This expedition was an epic journey from start to finish. Facing the blistering cold of the North Atlantic for eight straight days was one of the greatest challenges I’ve faced but an amazing adventure, which has produced a unique whisky that will raise money for a great cause.

“I’d always been a fan of Islay’s smoky single malts and, as a whisky lover, an island with eight distilleries was a must-visit destination. However on arrival I was blown away by the scenic landscapes, the wide variety of wildlife and the warmth of the people. This is a very special place and I’d strongly recommend a visit to anyone.”er, said: 

For more information about the Isle of Islay go to www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/isle-islay/

For more information about, or to purchase, the Explorer’s Cask, go to www.singlecasknation.com/products/great-islay-swim-explorers-cask-quarter-cask

To view a highlights video of the expedition go to www.greatislayswim.com/

ENDS 

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
  • For information about business tourism in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com

2018 Year of Young People

  • The Year of Young People 2018 will be the next of the Scottish Government’s series of themed years, following the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
  • The Year of Young People (YoYP 2018) will inspire Scotland through its young people aged 8 to 26, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally
  • Central to YoYP 2018 will be a celebratory events programme that puts young people at the heart of its development and delivery, creating new and valuable experiences for young Scots and the wider public, with links to the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
  • Over 200 young people throughout Scotland are currently being recruited to become YoYP 2018 Ambassadors. Ambassadors will ensure that people and organisations in their communities know about what’s happening and will lead on projects and activities to create events and opportunities to celebrate young people.
  • The Year of Young People will have six themes which were developed in co-production with young people themselves:
  • oParticipation – looking at how young people can influence public services and decisions which affect their lives
  • oEducation – creating a stronger role for young people in shaping their learning
  • oHealth and Wellbeing – supporting young people to lead healthier, active lives and have opportunities to learn about and improve their mental health and resilience
  • oEquality and Discrimination – broadcasting the value of young Scots, challenging negative perceptions of young people, and supporting young people to take leading roles in challenging discrimination in all its forms.
  • oEnterprise and regeneration – celebrating young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
  • oCulture – celebrating young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.
  • Further information on what’s happening and how people can get involved can be found on the new website www.yoyp2018.scot or @YOYP2018 on Twitter.