Saxa Vord Distillery
The only distillery on the Shetland Islands is at the north end of the Isle of Unst, the northern-most inhabited island in the UK. In terms of distance and culture, it is closer to Norway than Scotland.
The Shetland Distillery Company was formed by four people (2 couples) who share a passion for creating quality products in local communities.
One of these couples, the Strangs, recently converted the old RAF radar station at Saxa Vord into a holiday resort including cottages, a youth hostel and a bar/restaurant.
The other, the Nickersons, with their business ‘The Malt Whisky Company’ dedicated to bottling well-aged Single Malt, have more than 30 years’ experience in distillery management. Today, Stuart Nickerson still works as a consultant in this field.
The desire to establish not only the most northerly distillery in the United Kingdom but also produce the best possible gins and whiskies came to fruition with the release of their first 500 bottles of gin 100% made in Shetland, using as many local ingredients as possible.
In a couple of years, the first 100% Shetland ‘new make spirit’ will leave the stills, leading to their own Single Malt Scotch Whisky appearing on the market a few years later. While we wait, the distillery is producing a top-of-the-range blended malt, perhaps giving us an idea of the style of their future whisky.