Aberdeen and Grampian's Scotch Whisky Distilleries
If you’re looking for some great whisky, look no further than Aberdeen & Grampian. The area boasts beautiful coastal villages and breathtaking Highland scenery that makes for a most memorable journey through the whisky distillery process. There are at least seven different distilleries in the region that are well worth visiting and these are usually combined into a Grampian Whisky Trail that you can do as part of a tour or at your leisure. You’ll be offered the opportunity to sample a variety of malts and become more educated regarding the various processes used to make a superb glass of whisky. Grampian and Aberdeen have a long history of whisky making so this is really the perfect place to start if whisky is your passion.
Aberfeldy Distillery is well-known as the location of Dewar’s World of Whisky, an innovative center that takes visitors on an interactive journey about Dewar’s Whisky and its making. Nestling in the heart of the Grampian Mountains, Aberfeldy is one of the precious few distilleries from the South of the Highlands. The distillery was built on the Aberfeldy Perth railway line.
Be careful if you admit not to have heard of Ardmore, for it is a common ingredient of many top whiskey blends! Ardmore uses barley with such extreme peat qualities that only the discerning can appreciate its characteristic pungency. Most of the production from the stills of Ardmore is used by independent brand owners, but aficionados can locate the company’s original brands on occasion. You can tell that you have arrived at a significant retail outlet if they have Ardmore in stock!
Balvenie Distillery suffers a little in comparison with its more celebrated big sister Glenfiddich! Located near each other and owned by the same family, William Grant, the Balvenie Distillery is a little rough around the edges, lacking the sparkle of Glenfiddich. This actually adds to its charm and makes it seem more ‘real’.
The best place to find out hands-on how exactly a distillery in Scotland works is to visit Dallas Dhu Distillery. This was the last distillery to be built in the nineteenth century. It was constructed in 1898-9 by a whisky blending company known as Wright and Grieg Ltd. Today it is a living Scottish museum run by Historic Scotland.
Little has changed in Glendronach Distillery since the Victorian era. The distillery was founded in 1826 by James Allardice who led a consortium of farmers and businessmen. It is set on the gentle, green slopes of the Valley of Forgue in the heart of Aberdeenshire’s 'castle country'. The distillery and its whisky get their name from the Dronac burn that flows through the grounds.
The world’s largest selling single malt, Glenfiddich is the only Highland Scotch whisky to be distilled matured and bottled in its own distillery, William Grant & Sons in Scotland. Single malt whisky is one that has been distilled in only one distillery and is not a blend of whiskies from different sources. One of the few distilleries still owned by the original family, it was founded in 1886 by William Grant. The popularity of the whisky, the first to be exported widely, can be judged by the fact that it was the first distillery to open a visitor’s center in its Dufftown distillery.
The Glen Garioch Distillery was established in 1797 in the village of Old Meldrum, near Aberdeen, by John and Alexander Manson. Old Meldrum is at one end of Valley of the Garioch, pronounced Geery. The area is traditionally the finest barley growing area of Scotland. Glen Garioch distillery and a brewery were built on the site of an old tannery and water came from the Percock Hills. The mellow granite buildings today are a harmony of tradition, modern processes and innovative conservation ideas.
Three years before Queen Victoria bought Balmoral in 1848, the New Lochnagar Distillery was set up on the south side of the River Dee at Craithie. The owner was John Begg and he had added the prefix ‘New’ as there was already a Lochnagar distillery on the north banks of the River Dee. Begg took a chance and invited his new royal neighbors to visit his plant which was half a mile away from Balmoral Castle.