Abhainn Dearg distillery

Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Isle of Lewis’ only legal distillery, in its capital Stornoway (and named after it), only ran for two years in the 1850s. After that, Lewisians had to import their Scotch from the mainland, or maybe source it from illicit local operations. 

  • Region
    Islands
  • Production type
    Single malt
    Unaged spirits
  • Distillery Status
    Working

Abhainn Dearg History

All of that changed in 2008 when Marko Tayburn built a distillery at Red River [Abhainn Dearg] on the western coast of the island making this officially the most remote whisky-making site in Scotland. 

Hebrideans are resourceful by nature – they have to be – so when it came to the stills, Tayburn didn’t go, like everyone else, to Forsyth’s of Rothes but designed and built them himself, modelling them on an old illicit still he had discovered. In addition there is a pair of small mash tuns, wooden washbacks (all bought in) and a fermentation regime which lasts for four days.

The stills have elongated necks which look a little like witches’ hats and thin descending lyne arms which run into external worm tubs. A mix of unpeated and peated spirit is made. 

Timeline

  • 2008 Marko Tayburn officially opens Lewis’ first legal distillery for almost 170 years
  • 2010 Abhainn Dearg’s first whisky, a limited edition three-year-old named Spirit of Lewis, is bottled
  • 2011 Abhainn Dearg Single Malt is launched at the Royal National Mod in Stornoway

Owner

Current owner

  • Mark Tayburn 2008 - present

Contact

Address
Abhainn Dearg Distillery
Carnish
Isle of Lewis
Inverness-shire
HS2 9EX
United Kingdom
Website
Visit Website
Phone
+44 1851 672429
Visitor Opening Hours
Monday
11am to 4pm (closed 1pm-2pm)
Tuesday
11am to 4pm (closed 1pm-2pm)
Wednesday
11am to 4pm (closed 1pm-2pm)
Thursday
11am to 4pm (closed 1pm-2pm)
Friday
11am to 4pm (closed 1pm-2pm)
Saturday
11am to 4pm (summer only – closed 1pm-2pm)
Sunday
Closed

Map

See also

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