Isle of Gigha, courtesy of Ross Ovens.

Location: Gigha
hiding places, ships and boats, gaelic culture, distilling

Gigha's Hidden Whisky

Some years ago, a whisky barrel was seen in the sea near the Isle of Gigha. Clearly having come from a passing ship, the local men watched its progress from the south of the island. Seeing that the barrel had gone unnoticed by the customs man stationed near the south pier, they sent a young boy to fetch it (a boy being less likely to be in serious trouble if caught).

The barrel was safely brought ashore, and a celebratory dram was poured... and another... and another.

The whisky was divided up and put into bottles that would be easier to hide. It was no easy job, and the fear of being caught prompted a few more drams. When the bottles were all full, some whisky remained. There was no choice but to hide the evidence by drinking it. The bottles were then safely hidden, and the men returned home. Unfortunately, on waking the next day, none of the men was able to remember where the whisky had been safely hidden.

They couldn't remember the next morning or the morning after that.... it had been drunk!

Many years passed by... and a local farmer started building a new home nearby for his young and expanding family. A plot of land was chosen overlooking the sea. Before the foundations could be laid, an old and damaged dry stane dyke needed to be removed. As the stones were removed, the glint of glass was visible.... it was the whisky!

This story is from Grahame McCullough and submitted by Helen Lear

More information on visiting the area can be found here.