Chasing Beer And Whisky The Ultimate Scottish Drinking Trips

It’s common for beer-lovers to enjoy whisky as well, and Scotland gives us numerous opportunities to combine the two drinking pursuits, especially so on a couple of famous islands: Orkney and Islay.

A rare sunny day on the islands. Luckily there are plenty of distilleries in which to shelter from the rain.

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Orkney has the Highland Park and Scapa distilleries, and also two good breweries: Swannay and Orkney Brewery. Swannay brew some excellent, modern-accented, pale and hoppy beers, fresh and vibrant and smoothly rounded with malts, like their abundantly fruity Pale Ale. The Orkney beers are more traditional, with their famous Dark Island being a rich, hearty, malty ale and the Dark Island Reserve, a strong, Scotch whiskymatured beer.

Over on Islay, the different whisky distilleries are the main draw, but Islay Ales give you a break from the intensities of the heavily peated whiskies and refresh you with traditional British ales, many with lightly citrusy hop profiles. They also make Kilchoman Pale and Dark, both using malts from the Kilchoman Distillery to give a smoky, peaty, saline depth.

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