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More than anything else, Islay, the most southerly island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, is about whisky, and at one point, it was home to as many as 23 distilleries. Though the number is down to nine today, the spirits crafted by the remaining producers are treasured for being among the best in the world. Most feature a peaty smokiness, a legacy of the fuel still used in fires to dry the damp barley from which they are distilled. In addition, hints of salt come from their being made in such close proximity to the sea.