Scotch Whisky Distilleries in Speyside
No trip to Scotland is quite complete without a whisky tour in Speyside. The region is home to quite a large number of different whisky distilleries and you could quite literally take a couple of days spending a few hours at each one of them. Of course, by the time you’ve been to a few, you will be well acquainted with the inner-workings of a whisky distillery so you will be more interested in the final product than in the process. Fortunately, many of the distilleries in Speyside are small, friendly operations where you can enjoy a good malt with good conversation and stunning farm-like scenery. Most tourism companies choose to only make use of the bigger and better known distilleries in Speyside, but there are as many as fifty different whisky distilleries of varying shapes and size across the region. So choose carefully to make sure that you get the most out of your whisky tour in Speyside.
Benromach Distillery has perhaps been closed longer than it has been functional. It has changed ownership so many times that it is difficult to keep track. Fortunately the whisky that was distilled and left to mature as far back as fifty years ago is part of the treasure trove that is being released today. Located at Moray, Speyside, the acknowledged home of the finest Scotch, Benromach Distillery is a perfect blend of tradition and modernity.
Cardhu Distillery was originally known as Cardow. The place where it is located has also been known by variations of the same name. It is now Cardhu but was known in the past as Cardow and Cardoor. It gets its name from the Gaelic word for 'black rock'. The hamlet and the distillery are located in the heart of whisky country – Speyside. The distillery is built along the Knockando River.
Dailuaine Distillery lies tucked away around a mile off the main Aberlour to Grantown road in Speyside, Scotland, in what is the perfect location for a distillery in many ways. It has good quality water from the Bailliemullich Burn, access to the local supply of barley and close to the Railway Line for transportation of the whisky.
Glen Moray Distillery has been around since 1897. It is situated on the banks of the River Lossie in the city of Elgin which is the capital of Speyside – an area that is well known for the number of malt whisky distilleries it has. Glen Moray is just 35 miles east of Inverness.
The only thing that has changed in 165 years is the label – this is the proud claim about the fine single malt whisky produced at Glenfarclas. It is made by the Grant family who has owned the distillery for six generations. One of the few independent family owned distilleries functioning in Scotland today, the Grant family has owned Glenfarclas since 1865.
Will the real Glenlivet please say ‘Cheers?’ The largest selling single malt whisky in the American market is The Glenlivet by Seagram, but there are numerous others with the word Glenlivet in their name. Only the official bottlings of the owning company are allowed to use the appellation ‘The Glenlivet’. The most famous of Speyside single malts, has a further distinguishing phrase on its label which reads ‘Distilled by George & J.G. Smith’. This refers to the father and son who first founded the original distillery.
Two memorable legends are associated with Glenrothes Distillery. One is about the resident ghost and the other of the great fire which saw whisky flowing down the streets. The latter incident had locals scooping up the amber liquid in whatever they could find and it left the farmers’ cattle and the fish in the Rothes Burn rather tipsy.
Knockando Distillery is an old fashioned traditional distillery that has retained its human touch. Located in Morayshire amidst the hills along the River Spey, the distillery is perched on a high wooded bank between present day villages of Knockando and Archiestown in Speyside. The name Knockando originates from the Gaelic phrase "cnoc an dhu" which means "little black hill".
The Longmorn Distillery is built on the road from Elgin to Rothes and is located next to Benriach Distillery. Longmorn gets its name from ‘Lhanmorgund’, which means ‘place of the holy man’. There is a small church nearby, about three miles outside Elgin, built in honor of an early Christian saint, St. Marnan or Marnoch. The church was known as Lann Marnoch, which got modified to Longmorn.
The Macallan Distilleries of Speyside in the Highlands produces the Rolls Royce among single malt whiskies. It is a doggedly traditional distillery with its unusually small hand-made copper stills. The distillers insist on a sherry aging, always in dry oloroso casks which are shipped unbroken from Spain. Others rebuild broken casks but Macallan uses the original.