A unique and exclusive series of whiskies from the Scotland's most northerly distillery has been launched.
Until now, Shetland had been the only part of Scotland never to have produced a legal single malt Scotch whisky. But Shetland Reel Single Malt Scotch Whisky marks a new chapter in the history and geography of the multi-billion pound Scotch whisky industry. Four different cask strength whiskies, distilled in Portsoy but bottled in Unst by the Shetland Distillery Company, have gone on sale.
Stuart Nickerson, director of The Shetland Distillery Company, said: "This a hugely exciting development for us and for Scotch whisky. It literally puts Shetland on the map as far as whisky production is concerned – and for the first time. These four casks represent a start to whisky production in Shetland and we have plans to introduce more 'Bottled in Shetland' Scotch whiskies, with the long term plan being to install our own distillery and start distilling Scotch whisky on Unst."
The casks of whisky were distilled and matured on the mainland of Scotland and then shipped from Aberdeen to Lerwick on the overnight ferry. They were then transported via another two ferries and across the island of Yell before reaching their final destination in the far north of Unst. Only after a suitable period of resting were they bottled as the first ever "Bottled in Shetland" single malt Scotch whisky.
All of the casks emptied were octaves (50L capacity). Two of them were refill Scotch whisky casks and two were German virgin oak casks.
Twenty-one bottles have been produced of a peated whisky from one of the German oak casks at a price of £130 per bottle. The remaining 151 bottles from the other three casks are on sale at £100 per bottle. The whiskies are non-chill filtered, bottled at cask strength, and no colouring has been added.
Mr Nickerson has a 35 year pedigree in the Scotch malt whisky industry, having managed several distilleries and revived Glenglassaugh Distillery before selling it to the BenRiach Group. He and his wife Wilma own The Shetland Distillery Company, along with Frank and Debbie Strang, owners of the Saxa Vord Resort on the island of Unst.