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bars � drink
one are the days of bathtub gin, soapy ale and
unpalatable wine: the UK is now home to a rened
bunch of spirits, beer and wine makers and what's
more, you can go and visit most of them. Like a kitchen
table at a top restaurant, visiting a brewery, distillery, or
winery lifts the curtain to reveal a little bit of the magic
that goes into making discerning drinks. From far- ung Scotch
distilleries to Hampshire gin hideouts and coastal breweries, UK
drinks tourism is just a hop, sip and a jump away from London. If
you really don't want to travel, stay put: some are even in the capital.
Here are some of our favourite destination drink spots...
TALISKERCarbost, Isle of Skye, IV47 8SR
Talisker, distilled: A white beacon on the banks of Loch Harport,
Talisker is the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. If the
achingly beautiful loch isn't enough, the backdrop is Skye's Cuillin
mountains and the famous Black Cuillin. Once you've found your
way to the distillery, you can take a basic 45-minute tour, but we
recommend spending the extra few quid on the tasting tour -
you've come this far after all. The two-hour experience includes
ve expressions of Talisker in a tutored tasting. If you're a whisky
bu, make sure you take a peek at Talisker's 'worm tubs' - traditional
water vats that are used to condense the alcohol once it has come
o the hot still.
Bit on the side: Sure, you can drive over the bridge and arrive at the
distillery by car, but the most romantic way to see the island - and to
get a feel for its true rugged, Hebridean beauty - is to charter a yacht.
Check out skyeyachts.co.uk and enjoy the Sea of the Hebrides. Keep
your eyes peeled for all kinds of wildlife, too: dolphins, eagles, otters
and even whales have all been spotted in this part of the world.
How much: £8, including a discount voucher for whisky in the shop;
£35 for the tasting tour.
Stay over: Michelin-starred restaurant The Three Chimneys and its
cottage accommodation, The House Over-By. threechimneys.co.uk