There are many islands with pristine beaches, colorful wildlife, and a climate that leaves coconut shells as a viable form of dress. Sgriob and the rest of the Selvage Achipelago are not counted among such tropical locations. Sgriob, like most of the other Selvage islands is composed of dour basalt and projects rocky faces into the relentless pounding of the gray sea. The largest of the chain, Sgriob is covered with wild heath, scrubland, and a great host of sheep. The locals raise the sheep and farm barley as their primary crop. Seafood is a common staple at tables here as Sgriob has the major advantage of having a safe and accessible harbor where ships can land without the risk of being pounded to splinters on the rocky shores of the island.
A Seemingly Drab Life
The natives of Sgriob are at first glance as colorless as their island, wearing woolen clothes and sipping from their wooden cups. But this is deceiving as the islanders have kept their old faiths and have a number of festivals that revolve around boisterous music, large bonfires, and other suitable carousing. It is during these times that the heart of Sgriob Island shines, and it is the distillery.
The Waters of the Casks
Located near the center of the island is the modest structure of the Distillery where malted barley; barley grain that has been allowed to germinate, is fermented treated and turned into a raw spirit. This aqua vitae is aged in casks, 10 gallon barrels, made from local Stoneoak trees. The brewmasters of Sgriob have been making their waters for more generations than they can count, and the recipes exist in oral records as anecdotes, travelers tales, and other apocrypha that can only be decrypted by other brewers from Sgriob.
Any Port in a Storm
Ships frequent the port at Sgriob, for the primary purpose of taking on fresh water and perishable goods such as cheeses, eggs and fresh fruit when it can be bought. The secondary, and often considered more important reason being to buy casks of the Sgriob’s liquor. The whiskeys contained within the barrels are aged by tradition a bare minimum of four years. The more expensive and highly sought after whiskeys have been aged for much longer than this.