Why not visit one and have a fun and educational day out? Expect tours of the facilities, sample pours, and gorgeous landscapes.
To really appreciate whisky, there can be few better ways than doing so at the source, as it were – just like wine tastes better at the vineyard and trout best fresh out of the stream. More and more distilleries are seeing the advantages in welcoming whisky-loving tourists.
Whisky is one of Scotland’s biggest and best-known exports. The drink contributes around £800million annually to the Scottish economy and distilleries have seen large increases in the numbers of visiting tourists over the past few years.
Here is a look at some of the best to visit.
The Aberlour distillery is in the heart of Speyside, situated roughly halfway between Aberdeen and Inverness. The distillery’s visitor centre has been awarded five-star status by the Scotland National Tourism Board, so is clearly worth a visit.
TOURS: From £14.00 to £35.00
ADDRESS: Aberlour, Banffshire, AB38 9PJ
FIND OUT MORE: 01340 881249 or www.aberlour.com
Small-batch distillery Arran, which is located on the eponymously named Island, is one of the newest members of the list, founded in 1994. Still, its visitor centre pulls in numerous travellers, and the peat-rich whisky is something of a stunner. Three different tour levels are available.
TOURS: From £6.00 to £60.00
ADDRESS: Lochranza, Isle of Arran, KA27 8HJ
FIND OUT MORE: 01770 830264 or www.arranwhisky.com
North of Tain close to the waters of the Dornoch Firth lies the beautiful Balblair distillery. The distillery is within site of the Clach Biorach standing stone, which is more than 4,000 years old and it was an important gathering place for the Picts. It is apt to think that this could still be considered an important meeting place now – for whisky fans at least.
TOURS: From £6.00 to £45.00
ADDRESS: Edderton, Tain, Ross-shire, IV19 1LB
FIND OUT MORE: 01862 821273 or www.balblair.com
The highest distillery in Scotland, midway between Perth and Inverness. Dalwhinnie is Gaelic for “meeting place” and a tour of the facilities provides a fascinating look into a remote, working distillery. The honey-and-heather-filled palate offered by Dalwhinnie has won the whisky numerous fans.
TOURS: From £8.00 to £19.99
ADDRESS: Dalwhinnie, Inverness-shire, PH19 1AB
FIND OUT MORE: 01540 672219 or www.discovering-distilleries.com/dalwhinnie
Established in 1825, Edradour is one of Scotland’s smallest distilleries. It’s a pleasant drive into the hills east of the town of Pitlochry. Production is carried out by only three men and total production in a week is only enough to fill around 12 casks. If you want to sample Edradour, then you better do it at the distillery, as production is so low, it is the only spot guaranteedto have supplies.
ADDRESS: Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5JP
FIND OUT MORE: 01796 472095 or www.edradour.com
Unusual amongst its Speyside peers in that the distillery has retained its independent status, Glenfarclas has hosted an on-site visitor centre since 1973. Tourists are welcome to visit the distillery for a tour before relaxing with a “wee dram” in the elegantly appointed Ship’s Room.
TOURS: From £5.00 to £35.00
ADDRESS: Ballindalloch, Banffshire, AB37 9BD
FIND OUT MORE: 01807 500345 or www.glenfarclas.co.uk
Arguably home to one of the best-known whisky brands, the Glenfiddich distillery is set in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Glenfiddich means “Valley of the deer” in Gaelic and it is a beautiful part of the world.
TOURS: Free to £75.00
ADDRESS: Dufftown, Banffshire, AB55 4DH
FIND OUT MORE: 01340 820373 or www.glenfiddich.com
The favourite tipple of the late Queen Mother, Glengoyne was given a hard to achieve ‘By Royal Appointment’ seal of approval. Often described as Scotland’s most beautiful distillery, Glengoyne is open all year for guided distillery tours and whisky tastings.
TOURS: From £7.50 to £125.00
ADDRESS: Dumgoyne, Near Killearn, Glasgow, G63 9LB
FIND OUT MORE: 01360 550254 or www.glengoyne.com
Just off the A9, north of Inverness, is the Glenmorangie distillery. Visitors can look all around the distillery and the warehouses and even stay at Glenmorangie House.
ADDRESS: Tain, Ross-shire, IV19 IPZ
FIND OUT MORE: 01862 892477 or www.glenmorangie.com
Kingsbarns Distillery in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife, is opening its doors to the public on 1st December. Situated six miles from St. Andrews, the buildings at East Newhall Farm have been carefully restored and converted into a small distillery, visitor centre, café and shop.
KINGSBARNS TOUR: £8.00 – 1 hour, 2 whiskies
DOOCOT TOUR: £20.00 – 1.5 hours, 4 whiskies
DREAM TO DRAM TOUR: £50.00 – 2.5 hours, refreshments on arrival, complimentary Glencairn glass, £5 off voucher in shop and 6 (rarer) whiskies.
ADDRESS: East Newhall Farm, Kingsbarns, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8QE
FIND OUT MORE: www.kingsbarnsdistillery.com
Talisker is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye. Although, for some, the bridge may have taken away a little of the romance of a ferry trip from the mainland to Skye, it is still worth a visit. It was founded back in 1830 and sits on the scenic shores of Loch Harport. The winner of numerous international awards and a favourite of drinkers for its sweet tasting profile, Talisker welcomes visitors on its tasting tours year round.
TOURS: From £7.00 to £30.00
ADDRESS: Carbost, Isle of Skye, IV47 8SR
FIND OUT MORE: 01478 614308 or www.discovering-distilleries.com/talisker