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Launch of new whisky diluted with Unst water

Pictured at the launch of a new Shetland whisky (from left): distillery manager Mark Turnbull, VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead, distillery co-owner Debbie Strang and product developer Marc Watson. Photo: Shetnews/Neil Riddell

A NEW WHISKY from the Shetland Distillery Company in Unst was launched by VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead during a visit to the isles on Monday.

Shetland Reel’s blended malt Scotch whisky is the second whisky to be produced by the distillery located at the former RAF Saxa Vord base.

It is bottled in Shetland from four Speyside and one Islay cask-strength single malts and diluted to 47 per cent ABV using Unst water.

Roughead said: “I am delighted to be in Shetland today, launching this new blended malt whisky. The whisky sector generates £3.3 billion directly to the UK economy and 1.1 million visits were recorded to distilleries in Scotland during 2013, so it is a vitally important part of our tourism offering.

“In Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, it is great to see businesses like The Shetland Distillery Company expanding their offering which, in turn, can attract more visitors to the area.”

He said the year of food and drink would help raise awareness of Shetland’s tourist industry and the “provenance of the outstanding local produce on offer”.

“Tourism in Shetland has a ripple effect that touches every industry, business and community throughout the islands,” Roughead said.

The Shetland Distillery Company also produces two gins, Shetland Reel Gin – which won a silver medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits competition – and Ocean Sent, which was launched recently at the Shetland Food Fair.

Company director Stuart Nickerson said: “This blended malt whisky follows on from the success of our Shetland Reel single malt Scotch whisky, all 172 bottles of which sold out prior pre-launch.

“Our ‘Bottled in Shetland’ Scotch whiskies are precursors to us installing our own whisky still and distilling Unst whisky.

“The blend is a limited edition, with 1,800 bottles available, priced at £45. As with the single malt, we anticipate a great deal of interest.”

The whiskies can be ordered via and further information can be obtained via the same email address.

Mr Nickerson has a 35-year pedigree in the Scotch malt whisky industry, having managed several distilleries and revived Glenglassaugh Distillery before selling it to the BenRiach Group.

He and his wife Wilma own The Shetland Distillery Company along with Frank and Debbie Strang, owners of the Saxa Vord Resort.