Islay & Mull of Oa
On the Hebridean isle of Islay there is a remote peninsula to the north known as Mull of Oa. A craggy, desolate terrain that looks out to a treacherous sea. The American Monument stands tall overlooking the ocean where, a century ago, two devastating shipwrecks of American liners took the lives of many. At a glance you would be forgiven for assuming this to be an inhospitable isle, but contrary to this Islay has a rich and storied history.
Scotland is known for its deep connection to the ‘Water of Life’. Sources lead historians to suspect that Islay can trace its whisky origins back as far as the 1300s. These original pioneers were believed to be Gaelic monks.
Through the centuries many saw the opportunity to capitalise on whiskys increasing popularity and by the mid 1500’s the isle was littered with small distilleries. Many saw it as the ideal location for the production of whisky thanks to its abundance of soft water from the rivers and lochs, along with a plentiful supply of peat.
By the 17th century new taxes changed the manufacturing landscape and locals would opt to operate illicit stills. These bandits would manufacture the whisky whilst evading the tax that had been levied on it.
This was not a hard challenge to overcome as there were no excise officers posted at this remote location. Thus it became a major producer and distributor, seeing its product reach far and wide with positive reception. To this day Islay is one of only 5 whisky manufacturing regions in Scotland whose identity is protected by Law.
(above) Casks of Islay Malt Whisky
(above) A variety of Islay Malt Whisky bottles
Mull Of Oa Snuff
As a fitting homage to this fascinating history, Sir Walter Scott’s have manufactured a snuff that hits all the hallmarks of this Hebridean heavy weight. Firstly it is a moist snuff, this can be seen as a reflection of the weather on Islay.
Secondly, it is a medium coarse cut, this could be seen to represent the hardy nature of those natives of the isle. Most importantly, it is topped with a delectable genuine Islay Malt Whisky.
The nicotine content is fair but far from overpowering. The moist nature makes this snuff easy to consume for even newcomers. Delicate peat tones blend with deep, sweet whisky notes to make this a true joy to snuff.
Those with a very discerning nose state that they can pick out traces of brine that compliments a subtle smokey scent. As stated before, the quality of Sir Walter Scott’s snuffs are unparalleled. These premium products are made with the highest attention to detail. The end product is a testament to Johnny Scott’s commitment and passion.