Tuesday, 25 September 2012


The small village of Carbost on Loch Harport is a magnet for tourists in search of the true spirit of Skye. The reason is that the village is the location of the Talisker Distillery, which produces an Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Originally founded in 1830, the distillery is now one of the main employers in the village. The Talisker product is much prized, and won the prize for "Best Single Malt In The World" at the 2007 World Whiskies Awards. Carbost is on the east coast of the Minginish Peninsula, while on the other side of the peninsula the name Talisker crops up again in the form of a beautiful bay and a settlement which was for centuries owned by the Clan MacLeod. Boswell and Johnson pitched up here in 1773 during their Hebridean odyssey, and it is interesting to note their differing perspectives on the place. In Boswell's Life Of Johnson: Tour To The Hebrides, he described Talisker as "...a better place than one commonly finds in Sky. It is situated in a rich bottom." However, he was not impressed with the approach to the house at the Talisker farm, where they stayed, describing it as "most injudiciously paved with the round bluish-grey pebbles which are found upon the sea-shore; so that you walk as if upon cannon balls driven into the ground." Meanwhile, Dr. Johnson, who was well known for making uncharitable remarks about the "Scotch", wrote of Talisker in A Journey To The Western Islands Of Scotland: "Talisker is the place beyond all that I have seen, from which the gay and the jovial seem utterly excluded". Whichever of the two men one is inclined to believe, it is hard not to be impressed by the geology of this corner of Skye, which has led to it being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Map of the area.

© 2007 Klaus-Martin Hansche, via Wikimedia Commons

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