Over 100 yachts are gathered in Skye for the annual Classic Malts Cruise

A blend of sailing, scenery, parties and whisky is the lure for over 100 yachts taking part in the annual Classic Malts Cruise in Scotland. The has quietly become one of the largest such events in the UK, and it’s not hard to see why. It is the brainchild of Diageo, the company that owns the six whisky brands that make up a range named Classic Malts.

The route takes yachts on a route in the Western Isles that incorporates three of their distilleries: Oban, Talisker, in Loch Harport on Skye, and Lagavulin on Islay. At each stop there are ceilidhs, lavish hospitality with much eating, drinking and merriment. Between parties, crews can take their pick of sailing in the Western Isles, choosing their own route and seeing what is surely some of the most spectacular anywhere in the world.

Yesterday and today the fleet assembled in the anchorage in Loch Harport, off the tiny village of Carbost, dominated by Talisker distillery. Most of the yachts are from the UK, though many have made a long journey to get here. There are five yachts from the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, for example. Other crews have come from as far afield as Norway, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and several have sailed from the US.

Whisky appreciation is part of the package, both in quality and quantity. Talisker has been opening up its doors for tours and the photos show the distillery warehouse from the outside and the three copper low wines stills where the spirit is distilled for a second time.