Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

CatsWhiskersTours provide unique tour experiences tailored to suit you. Call +44 (0) 141 638 5500

Mural at Jura Distillery

This evening, I am posting information on Jura Distillery which is located on the Isle of Jura in the Inner Hebrides, off the West Coast of Scotland.

To reach Jura normally entails a ferry trip from Kennacraig on the Scottish mainland to the island of Islay and then another (short) ferry trip from Port Askaig on Islay to Jura.

Jura has just a few hundred inhabitants based on main settlement at Craighouse. At Craighouse can be found the distillery which has a lineage dating back to 1810. However, the site was moribund between 1901 and 1960 when activity recommenced under ownership of Charles Mackinlay & Co. Ownership now rests with Emperadour Inc of the Philippines through Whyte & Mackay.

Capacity at Jura is 2.2m litres p.a.with the brand ranking as number 13 in terms of Scottish single malt sales.Most of the production is directed towards the single malt market with the ten-year old ranking as flagship product.Most of the output is unpeated with other malts in the range comprising:

  • Diurach’s Own, 16 year-old.
  • Superstition (partly peated)
  • Prophecy (peated).
  • Jura Elixir, 12 year-old.

Tours of the distillery are available.

Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Whisky Stills at Jura Distillery

Video clip of Washbacks at Jura Distillery

Washbacks at Jura Distillery, Scotland

Jura Distillery, Scotland

Portnahaven Harbour, Islay, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on the village of Portnahaven which occupies a harbour position on the S.W. tip of Islay, an island of Scotland’s west coast.

Portnahaven originated as a planned fishing and crofting (farming) community in the 19th century. Today, population is 120 and the village is popular with tourists. Other facts and information:

  • The Parish Church (Presbyterian) dates from 1828 and is shared with nearby Port Wemyss.
  • OpposIte the harbour is Orsay Island on which is located a lighthouse built by the famous Stevenson lighthouse building family.
  • Grey seals can often be seen in the harbour, as illustrated in image number three below.
  • In the heart of the village is a tradition pub named An Tigh Seinnse or ‘house of singing’.
  • Close to the village can be seen sheep horses and Highland cattle.
  • About one mile north of Portnahaven can be found a craft shop and prehistoric stone circle.
  • Islay is famous for its malt whisky distilleries. Close to Portnahaven can be found Kilchoman and Bruichladdich distilleries, both of which are open to the public.
  • Portnahaven is about 18 miles from Bowmore, the principal town on Islay.

View of Portnahaven, Islay

Highland Cattle near Portnahaven, islay

Grey Seal at Portnahaven, Islay, Scotland

An Tigh Seinnse, Portnahaven, Islay

Islay Celtic Craft Shop near Portnahaven, Islay

Here is post from Nov 16th 2015 which was delayed due to technical reasons.

Conscious of last night’s heavy storm and gales we embarked on today’s trip with some trepidation in event the ferry crossing to Jura was cancelled.

We departed Port Ellen, Islay after breakfast and drove towards Bowmore stopping for a photo of the island’s Airport en-route.

Islay Airport, Scotland

On arrival at Bowmore we shopped and availed of photo opportunities in the ever-changing light conditions.

Main Street, Bowmore, Islay, Scotland

Bowmore Distillery, Islay, Scotland

Paps of Jura from Bowmore, Islay, Hebrides

Clouds over Bowmore, Islay, Scotland

Next, we drove through Bridgend and then turned left towards Port Charlotte in order to photograph a single prehistoric standing stone standing upright in a field near the sea. This stone has probably been in situ since first erected around 3000 BC-2000 BC.

Prehistoric Standing Stone near Bridgend, Islay

Next, we returned to Bridgend and then left to Port Askaig where we availed of some refreshments before connecting with the short ferry crossing to Jura.

Paps of Jura from Port Askaig, Islay

On arrival on Jura we followed the single track road down to the principal community of Craighouse and then through the village for a few miles before returning for lunch at the Jura Hotel from where we witnessed a vibrant rainbow.

Video clip of coastal drive from Feolin to Craighouse

Jura coastline near Feolin

Paps of Jura, Hebrides, Scotland

Waterfall, Jura, Scotland

Jura landscape

Craighouse, Jura, Scotland

Rainbow over Small Isles viewed from Craighouse, Jura

Next, we walked across the road to join the 2.00pm tour of Jura Distillery. Although having a lineage dating back to the early 19th century the current buildings date from the 1960s. Here, we were escorted around the production process from malting and mashing to fermentation, distillation and maturation culminating in  a tasting.

Jura single malt

Video clip of washbacks at Jura Distillery

Whisky stills at Jura Distillery, Scotland

Jura Distillery

Following the Distillery tour we returned to the ferry port to catch the 3.15 pm ferry back to Port Askaig and then returned across Islay to our base in Port Ellen.

Looking back on the day, we experienced, sunshine, showers, heavy rain and strong winds. In addition to the varied scenery we saw herons, swans, a huge flock of Canada Geese and ducks.

Tomorrow, we catch the early ferry back to Kennacraig and then on to Glasgow.