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Uig is a remote region of the Hebridean Isle of Lewis, lying some 20-odd miles west of Stornoway, the main town.  Uig takes its name from the Norse word for "bay" and the district of Uig is situated around an inlet on the West Coast of Lewis.  The landscape is dramatic, rugged, whilst there are many beautiful white sandy beaches, there are also cliffs, offshore islands and hills.  On a sunny day the scenery is breathtaking, when battered by Atlantic gales, it fairly does, take your breathe away!

Uig has many villages scattered along the shorelines, these are crofting villages.  A croft is a small agricultural unit, most crofts are too small to support a family or give full-time employment, and most crofters have other occupations to provide the main part of their income.  The layout of the crofts in Uig aren't compatible to the larger scale crops of barley the distillery would need to maintain its aim, of field to bottle. However we can use land in Lewis, closer to Stornoway which is suitable. Because of the terrain most crofts have never been used for any sort of commercial use, leaving them free of pesticides, or chemical treatments. 

The road taking you to Abhainn Dearg passes through a spectacular, winding channel called Glen Valtos.  Visitors would be forgiven in thinking that this is a man made corridor, it's not, it was carved out beneath the ice by eastward flowing meltwaters around 12,500 to 11,500 years ago.

*In the vicinity of Carnish, ridges, mounds and terraces of sand and gravel that were deposited by the meltwater have provided an important source of natural aggregate on the island for many years. The main deposit originated as a delta built out into a lake that was dammed for a while by a mass of ice situated in Camus Uig and to the west. The lake probably drained through Glen Valtos, which acted as a 'glacial spillway'.

Maybe in years to come, or if someone may try analysing the differences between, not only peat, but what effect geology has on whisky, it would add a new approach to tasting.  Whatever the results Abhainn Dearg would still be unique.

 

*Further reading a free booklet in PDF format - Landscape Fashioned by Geology
More on crofting - Scottish Crofting Federation
Further information on early settlements in Uig and the Bhaltos Trust

 

 

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Contact Details

Abhainn Dearg Distillery
Carnish
Isle of Lewis
Outer Hebrides
Scotland
HS2 9EX

Telephone: 01851 672429
Website: www.abhainndearg.co.uk

 

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