Shetland Reel Profile

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Shetland Reel was initially launched as a small batch single malt sourced from Glenglassaugh and bottled in Unst, making it the first Scotch whisky to be bottled legally in Shetland. The malt had been matured in four 50-litre octave casks – two refill ex-American oak and two virgin German oak – and bottled individually at cask strength. Some 21 bottles of a peated version were also bottled from one of the German oak casks.

A blended malt followed, comprised of four Speyside whiskies and a single Islay malt, which was also bottled in Shetland and reduced using pure Unst water. The result conveyed notes of dried fruits, spices with soft peaty smoke.

  • Production type
    Blended malt
    Single malt

Shetland Reel History

The Shetland Distillery Company was established in 2013 by Stuart Nickerson, formerly of Glenglassaugh distillery, and Frank and Debbie Strang, the owners of the disused Saxa Vord RAF base in Unst (who were also formerly involved in the lapsed attempt to establish Blackwood distillery in the same location).

The company established the UK’s most northerly distillery, Saxa Vord, which produced its first gin in 2014. Although there are plans to distil whisky in the near future, Shetland Distillery Company decided to kick things off early with the launch of a single malt distilled on the mainland (at Glenglassaugh no less) and bottled in Unst.

Shetland Reel was launched as four limited edition bottlings. The output was 172 bottles which all sold within five days of the launch in August 2015.

Just months later the company released Batch 1 of its blended malt under the same name, a run that was limited to 1,800 bottles. Batch 2 was drawn from the same constituent malts and was released the following year.


  • 2013 The Shetland Distillery Company is established
  • August 2015 Shetland Reel is launched as a limited range of four Glenglassaugh single malt expressions
  • November 2015 The first batch of Shetland Reel blended malt is launched
  • 2016 The second batch of Shetland Reel blended malt is released


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