The first legal single malt whisky from the Outer Hebrides is officially launched today (Friday) by Isle of Lewis distillery, Abhainn Dearg.
The launch of the special edition three year old single malt was timed to coincide with the start of the Royal National Mod in Stornoway and this first production run by Abhainn Dearg distillery is limited to 2011 bottles.
Speaking about the launch, distillery owner, Mark ‘Marko’ Tayburn commented: “This is a historic day for the Outer Hebrides and for Abhainn Dearg Distillery. We are delighted to launch this special whisky and finally reclaim the heritage of whisky making in the Isle of Lewis which stretches back hundreds of years.
“The Mod in Lewis can now at last enjoy a locally produced, distinctive whisky. It has been a long wait but we are confident you will agree it has been worth it.”
Western Isles MSP Dr Alasdair Allan commented: “It can only be good for the economy of the islands that we have a new distillery launching its product, and I know it will be another draw for tourists. I have visited Abhainn Dearg, and know the work that has gone into getting the business to this point.
“Perhaps one of the more interesting constituency cases I have ever had was when I had to persuade HM Revenues and Customs to overcome their suspicion about one of Mr Tayburn’s stills which had a colourful past under previous ownership! In fact, it now provides his distillery with something unique in Scotland – legal whisky made in a formerly illicit still.
“I know that already there have been expressions of interest in Abhainn Dearg whisky from around the world, and would congratulate everyone involved in producing it. The Mod in the islands is an excellent time to promote this excellent new way of putting the Hebrides on the international map. Slàinte mhòr!”