Bottled whisky from the isles

The first ever bottled whisky from the isles will go on sale next month.

Shetland Reel Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be sold with four different cask strengths.
The whisky has been distilled in Portsoy, Aberdeenshire and bottled in Unst by the Shetland Distillery Company.

Director of the business Stuart Nickerson, said: “This a hugely exciting development for us and for Scotch whisky.

“It literally puts Shetland on the map as far as whisky production is concerned – and for the first time.”

“These four casks represent a start to whisky production in Shetland and we have plans to introduce more ‘Bottled in Shetland’ Scotch whiskies, with the long term plan being to install our own distillery and start distilling Scotch whisky on Unst.”

The casks of whisky were distilled and matured on the mainland of Scotland and then shipped fromAberdeen to Lerwick on the ferry before two more ferry journeys to Unst.

Only after a suitable period of resting were they bottled as the first ever “Bottled in Shetland” single malt Scotch whisky.

All of the casks emptied were octaves (50 litre capacity). Two of them were refill Scotch whisky casks and two were German virgin oak casks.

Twenty-one bottles have been produced of a peated whisky from one of the German oak casks. This has a price of £130 per bottle.

The remaining 151 bottles from the other three casks are on sale at £100 per bottle.

The whiskies will go on sale on 1st September 2015.

Mr Nickerson has a 35-year pedigree in the Scotch malt whisky industry, having managed several distilleries and revived Glenglassaugh Distillery before selling it to the BenRiach Group.

He and his wife Wilma own The Shetland Distillery Company along with Frank and Debbie Strang, owners of the Saxa Vord Resort.


Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • August 13th, 2015 3:37

    I am trying my best to see the importance of such news in regards to the connection of the making of a product in Portsoy, Aberdeenshire and that product vastly, massively changing its origins to this of Shetland.

    Surely Trading Standards would have something to say about a product, allegedly, made in Shetland (as in putting Shetland on the map of Whisky production) when it was actually produced in mainland Scotland. If I store the freshly made whisky from the brewery into barrels and ship it to the North Pole, can I truly say it was Whisky made at the North Pole????? Just because it is stored at a certain location does not mean the product was made there. Even if the product has to be stored to give it more substance/body, does not give the right of the distillers/distributors to say the product was made at the location to where it was stored?

    To use the same analogy, I could get wool from a Shetland sheep, ship it to China to mass produce jumpers of all shapes, sizes and designs and then tell the customers it is a Shetland Jumper? Would you accept this as a genuine Shetland product???? I don’t think so.

    • Ali Inkster

      • August 15th, 2015 0:20

      It says it is bottled in Shetland, not made here. And if folk are willing to shell out the price for a bottle it will give them a peerie bit of working capital, but more important it will get the brand out there and will make sale of the whisky made here easier when it does come out the barrels. Good luck to them unlike Blackwoods it’s costing us nothing and will hopefully provide some much needed jobs.

      • David Spence

        • August 17th, 2015 0:39

        I wish them well. I just hope they do not fob off the consumer by saying the Whisky was made in Shetland, purely for the status of being the UK’s most northerly Whisky Distillery.

        However, Business and fabricating the truth to gain more money/customers, does go hand-in-hand…… the nature of Capitalism.

  • Ron Young

    • August 13th, 2015 10:24

    I love to think that items have been grown, cared for and matured in the area that has its name on the label – but distilling Whisky in Aberdeen then shipping it to Shetland for a “suitable period of resting” and then bottling and labeling the bottle “Bottled in Shetland” – come on, they must think we’ve come wi’ t’ trip!! (Get reporter Adam G. to explain this)

  • iantinkler

    • August 13th, 2015 13:44

    Truly idiotic, Will go to Tesco and get a few mixed wine boxes, put an a bin and stir.. Sell as Shetland Wine, the most northern winery , Chateau Flawton.

  • Hunter Inkster

    • August 14th, 2015 9:55

    Well done to Stuart Nickerson and all involved at the Shetland Distillery Company in getting their first whisky product on the shelves. This is a fantastic project for Shetland and although the product is not currently manufactured in Shetland, they have to start somewhere to build up a brand in the whisky market and have a cashflow to fund the 6 years it will take to distill and mature a quality whisky which is fully produced in Shetland.

    This is one of the steps in a long-term project and it is one that we should embrace rather than trying to derail or pick holes in because it is only bottled in Shetland at this time. Good luck Stuart and lets hope in time the Shetland Distillery becomes as successful as Highland Park.

  • iantinkler

    • August 14th, 2015 13:57

    Well I suppose the price tag shows shows the targeted consumer, some rich fools around still, or should I say, around a still.

  • Michael Inkster

    • August 14th, 2015 15:49

    Nice to hear someone with a positive comment on this forum for a change instead of the usual perpetual bickering amongst the regular half-dozen or so for whom this appears to be virtually a full-time hobby, Michael Inkster

  • David Spence

    • August 14th, 2015 17:49

    Hunter, not wishing to pick holes in what you have said but………

    ‘ although the product is not currently manufactured in Shetland ‘ and

    ‘ quality whisky which is fully produced in Shetland. ‘

    Does seem a little contradictory. lol

  • David Spence

    • August 14th, 2015 18:07

    I hope somebody can refresh my memory, but was there not a similiar business in Nesting in regards to storing whisky in Shetland (but it was made outwith Shetland) and then pawning it off as a product of Shetland purely for the status as being the UK’s most northern distillery (said very loosely lol) ?????

    May be somebody can throw some light on this please?

  • Chris Laurenson

    • August 17th, 2015 10:36

    If its no made wae Shetland water dan hits no Shetland Scotch….Duuuhhhhh….!!!!!!

    • John Tulloch

      • August 17th, 2015 14:51

      I doot “Wir Shetland” water is no Scotys, so quat wye cud dae mak “Scotch” quhisky fae dat? I doot dae hae ta bring in da raw stuff an bottle hit ur dan furgyit da hell thing?

  • iantinkler

    • August 17th, 2015 14:31

    Real Shetland Whiskey
    “The Blackwood distillery (Nesting) was set to become the first malt whisky distillery to be set up in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. The distillery will use Bere Barley, an ancient strain that has been grown in Shetland for over 5,000 years.”
    Sadly was not to be, finance!!. 2008

  • David Spence

    • August 17th, 2015 16:06

    Good point, Ian. If all the ingredients needed to make Whisky (I believe the irish spelling is Whiskey?) are grown on Shetland, and the water comes from the burns/loch’s, fair enough, brand it a Whisky made in Shetland.

    However, if part of the production process involves using water from the tap, I would hope the manufacturer’s would filter out all the nasty wee chemicals NOSWA has put into the water prior to this water being used in the production? lol

  • Haydn Gear

    • August 17th, 2015 21:23

    I find the varying opinions about the Shetland whisky saga a bit odd, to say the least.How can a Scottish whisky be passed off as a Shetland product? If Japanese whisky were to be shipped in (perish the thought!) could that too be bottled in Lerwick and sold as Shetland whisky? What about the trades description Act?Wisgi Cymreig is produced at Penderyn, South Wales.No way would it be considered anything but Welsh.Water from the Brecon Beacons ensures that is so.The main problem is that it’s VERY costly occupying a niche market. At least I’ve had a glassful !! Meanwhile , I’ll stick to Dalwhinnie and Aberlour.

    • John Tulloch

      • August 18th, 2015 10:46

      Me granny wis wint ta say, “Whit’s wrang wi you, dir plenty o water ida tap?”

  • Haydn Gear

    • August 18th, 2015 14:26

    My mother (99) says she won’t drink dwr tap (tap water) because ” they put all those chemicals in it to kill germs”. Is she right and do they? Without doubt, water tastes different in many places. I’ve never been àble to make a decent cup of tea in France . Water in Wales is definitely superior to London water but ours isn’t recycled from the Thames half a dozen times !!!

  • ted bruning

    • November 23rd, 2015 15:09

    Forgive a Sassenach for butting in, but there’s a longstanding and completely transparent tradition of finishing single malts in casks of various origins to produce radically different expressions which connoisseurs and collectors understand, appreciate, and will pay silly money for. This kind of exercise produces a tiny bit of cash-flow to help the enterprise on its journey to maturity but more importantly maintains its profile among the paying-silly-money community so that when the distillery’s own distillate finally emerges it will be long-awaited and much-anticipated. Even better, the bottled-in-Shetland whisky comes from Glenglassaugh, which Mr Nickerson helped rescue from closure.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.