Hebridean businesses join forces for remote whisky tasting

A COMPANY which sources ‘wild water’ from the Isle of Lewis is aiming to unite island businesses and communities through a series of digital whisky tastings.

James McIntosh, founder of wild water brand Larkfire, has joined forces with Whyte & Mackay-owned single malt Jura, whisky blogger Matt Chambers and the Island Spirit Whisky Shop in Stornoway to launch the Whisky & Wild tastings series, which kicks off today (Friday May 1) at 6.30pm on Larkfire’s Instagram page.

Larkfire has sent free tasting packs of its wild water and samples of 12, 18 and 21 year old Jura to islanders for the live tasting sessions, which will be hosted by Chambers.

McIntosh, whose Larkfire business supports local initiatives through a partnership which donates a percentage of sales to The Stornoway Trust, said the digital whisky tastings aim to “keep spirits high while businesses and communities are on lockdown and tourism is on hold”.

“We’re keen to support communities and businesses on the islands and were mulling over what we could do to help, just to raise spirits a little,” he said.

“We heard about Stornoway start-up business, the Island Spirit Whisky Shop, having to postpone its opening because of the current situation, and it gave us the idea of doing something virtually. We contacted owner Iain Faller and he put us in contact with other businesses.

“We are launching the first Whisky & Wild tasting on May 1, inviting islanders to join a free online session hosted by Matt.  We hope to unite many people in raising a glass during lockdown, supporting each other and promoting local businesses across the islands and beyond.”

Kirsteen Beeston, head of international malts at Whyte & Mackay, said: “We are delighted to support this creative initiative of bringing together fellow Scottish island communities.”