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Tastings, talks and tours of the Hebrides' whisky hotspots all on the itinerary

Fancy being whisked through the Scottish Hebrides aboard a luxury sailing ship, stopping only to explore some of the world’s finest whisky distilleries? Well, you’re in luck!

New Scientist Discovery Tours are filling a boat full of whisky lovers for a deep-dive into the king of all liquor, where guests will learn about the distilling process, how different stimuli affect its flavours and what makes a world-beating drop.

OK, that sounds like a pretty intense science lesson (what did you expect from a tour run by New Scientist magazine?) but the real draw here is that you’ll be sampling fine drams throughout the eight day trip AND stopping off for a snoop around the Bunnahabhain, Ardnahoe, Bruichladdich, Lagavulin (pictured above) and Kilchoman distilleries. We hear there are plans for a second, week long cruise that promises to teach you how to spell all of those without looking it up.

For the uninitiated, the isles of Islay and Jura are blessed with the perfect conditions for whisky-making, which is why their shores are dotted with so many of the planet’s most respected distilleries.

Your transport and accommodation - a characterful 1903 sailing ship - will be stocked with whiskey and an on-board expert will be on hand to talk you through the liquid in your glass. The tour cruises through some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery, with the chance to spot sharks, whales, dolphins and plenty more of the Hebrides’ resident marine life. And for those who want to get involved, the crew will allow you to trim and set the sails and even helm the ship - though that’s not recommended after too much of the local grog.

Other highlights of the trip include a visit to the Tobermory Whisky Den; a chance to see the 80 metre long Fingal’s Cave; an onboard visit from local whisky superstar, Georgie Crawford; time to explore the beautiful coastal town of Port Ellen; and a visit to ‘Deer Island’ of Jura - named due to its population of 5,500 deer to just 180 people.

The Science of Whisky: Scottish Hebrides Cruise costs £2,399pp and leaves from Oban on 24th September.

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