panel discussion

Replay: All About Islay

Islay is Scotland’s most famous – and most divisive – island.  Known primarily for its smoky, peated style of whiskies, this island has distinguished itself enough to be classified as one of Scotland’s 5 recognized distilling region.  But why are Islay Scotches typically so smoky and peaty?  And how does that flavor get into the bottle?  Why is this island in particular so associated with peat?  And why does it seem some people can’t get enough of Islay, while others recoil at the thought of a peated dram? In this chat we’ll talk about the Island itself, its many distilleries, and the range of amazing whiskies made there.

Please Join host Zach Johnston, Spirits Editor for UPROXX Life, as he explores, reminisces and discusses the remote island of Islay and its Scotch Whisky legacy.  Zach welcomes Scotland resident  and Diageo Whisky Ambassador TJ Littlejohn and Islay photographer Ben Shakespeare.  Ben also actively volunteers on the Fèis Ìle (Islay Festival) Committee, a festival gathering of whisky and Islay fans from across the globe.

Don’t forget to join us for other PANEL DISCUSSIONS, every Wednesday at 8:45pm EST/5:45pm PST



Zach Johnston, @ztpjohnston & Spirits Editor, UPROXX Life
Before getting into a writing career online, Zach spent years working around the globe as both a chef and a high-end bartender. Highlights include living with chefs in Thailand, cutting his teeth as a pizzaiolo in a Neapolitan pizzeria in Washington, DC, popping up with Indigenous American food tasting menus in Berlin, and opening oysters from the Pacific to the streets of Europe. He's also worked in organic wine bars in Prague, tended bar on Rhodes, and refined his cocktail skills at award-winning and iconic bars in Berlin. Zach parlayed those skills into writing for UPROXX where his burger recipes get hundreds of thousands of views and his whiskey tasting notes are some of the most read in the industry. Oh, and he still knows how to make a mean cocktail.
Special Guests:
Ben Shakespeare, Islay Photographer
Ben Shakespeare is an Islay photographer who specializes in weddings and whisky and has worked for many of the major Islay whisky brands. He spends his time working at the Islay Gaelic Centre and volunteers on the Fèis Ìle (Islay Festival) Committee, producing their content, managing the website and social media.
TJ Littlejohn, Whisky Ambassador, Diageo
After 3 years at Diageo, and a few more working in Scotch Whisky, TJ spends most of his time consulting on bars, assisting on menu development and hosting events. But of course, TJ escapes to distilleries as much as possible. Luckily living in Edinburgh, it’s not too hard to get to most, even those in some of the most remote places, like Islay!