Start with a visit to Kilchoman Distillery, a modern distillery with a traditional production method. The most westerly distillery in Scotland, Kilchoman is one of the only modern distilleries to produce completely on site.
Bruichladdich Distillery, built in 1881, still uses much of the traditional Victorian machinery to make its whisky, including the original open 7 ton machtun, one of only a handful still in existence. The distillery brews an exceptional range of whisky which includes what is said to be the 'most heavily peated single malt whisky in the world'. For a lighter flavour, try Caol Ila Distillery, set amongst stunning scenery and now the largest malt whisky distillery on Islay. Caol Ila is one of the lighter Islay whiskies, pale in colour, with peaty, floral and peppery notes.
Located on the south eastern shore of Loch Indaal, Bowmore Distillery was established in 1779 and is the oldest recorded distillery on Islay. Why not visit one of the lesser known distilleries found on Islay, such as Bunnahabhain Distillery? The absence of peat in the malting of the barley, most of which is used to produce its internationally recognised Black Bottle, makes its whisky the lightest and most unique of all the whiskies brewed on the island.
For a distinctive taste, pay a visit to Lagavulin Distillery, the single malt here is characterised by its strong peat flavour and iodine overtones while the Laphroaig Distillery is famed for producing one of the most strongly flavoured of all scotch whiskies. Ardbeg Distillery produces the peatiest and smokiest of the Islay malts and is situated in a stunning, rugged coastal location.
For those interested in the malting process and technology, take a tour of the Port Ellen Maltings which supplies most of the Islay distilleries with their specific malt requirements.