Delightful Scottish Whisky Trails
Scotland is famous for its whisky and if you've ever tasted it, you'll know why. Be sure to follow at least one Scottish Whisky Trail while you are touring Scotland. As you travel to the various distilleries on these trails, you will gain insight into the world of whisky. Discover how the distilleries use barley, water, yeast and peat to create the distinctive taste, texture, color and smell of whisky. You will also be treated to some different whiskies and learn all about the varieties available. Many of the Scottish whisky distilleries can only be visited by booking in advance. You can either join an organized trail or create your own. Below is a list of whisky trails & working distilleries in Scotland.
Aberdeen & the Grampian Highlands
There is a long tradition of Scottish Whisky making in the Grampian Highlands - especially in the Spayside area. Here you will find a fabulous Malt Whisky Trail which includes eight different distilleries each with their own special feature as well as a cooperage.
Aberfeldy Distillery in Scotland
Ardmore Distilleries in Scotland
The Balvenie Distillery in Scotland
Dallas Dhu Distillery in Scotland
Glendronach Distillery in Scotland
Glenfiddich Distilleries in Scotland
Glengarioch Distillery in Scotland
Royal Lochnagar Distilleries in Scotland
Edinburgh and Lothian
In the city of Edinburgh, you can learn all about whisky and see how it is made at the Scottish Whisky Heritage Centre. The centre provides fun and entertainment for the whole family by means of an interactive and informative display. If you'd rather get to the real thing, you will find the Glenkinchie Distillary in the West Lothian.
In Loch Lomond you'll only find two distilleries, but both are beautiful and produce many different types of whisky. Inchmurrin and Old Rosdhu were both established in 1965 and are worth a quick visit.
Perthsire has both the smallest and oldest distilleries in Scotland. The trail includes the distilleries in Aberfeldy, Crieff and Pitlochry. As you get a taste for their malts, you will also discover the stories behind the well known Dewar's, Grouse, Bell's and Edradour whiskies.
Angus and Dundee
The beautiful amber colour of whisky may well remind you of the calm glens, rolling hills and beautiful beaches of Angus and Dundee. The two go hand in hand quite nicely in this region so if you are in the area, you might well enjoy a visit to one or more of the following distilleries:
- The Fettercairn Distillery
- The Glencadam Distillery
Despite the relative sparseness of the settlements in the highlands, there are a few great distilleries that are accessible to visitors. Here you will find a warm drink in a traditional Scottish setting. Some of the distilleries worth viewing in the highlands are:
Aberlour Distillery in Scotland
Balblair Distilleries in Scotland
Ben Nevis Distillery in Scotland
Campbell Distilleries in Scotland
Clynelish Distillery in Scotland
Dalmore Distillery in Scotland
Glen Grant Distillery in Scotland
Glengoyne Distillery in Scotland
Glenmorangie Distilleries in Scotland
Oban Distilleries in Scotland
Pulteney Distillery in Scotland
Strathisla Distillery in Scotland
Talisker Distilleries in Scotland
Tamdhu Distillery in Scotland
Isle of Skye
Situated on the Isle of Skye in Carbost, just above the highlands, you'll find the Talisker Distillery. Talisker is open most of the day most days of the week but tours of the distillery planned for the period of December to February should be made in advance by appointment.
Isle of Mull
In Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, you'll find the Tobermory Distillery. This charming old distillery was established in 1798 and is still housed in its original buildings on the edge of the waterfront. The distillery has been somewhat unproductive for short periods of time during its history but was reopened in 1990 and has since been producing both a malt whisky and a blend. The Tobermory Distillery is also sometimes called the Lediag Whisky Distillery and both names are sometimes given to their products.
There are two main whisky producing areas in Argyll - Oban and Cambeltown. Cambeltown was at one point in it's history given the label of 'the Whisky Capital of the World' when it had 34 distilleries in operation. Since then, however, things have changed. Today only two distilleries remain in cabeltown - Springbank and Glen Scotia. Cambeltown whisky has a distinctive taste due to the use of peat in it. The Oban distillery is situated in the small fishing hamlet of Oban, directly below McCaig's Tower. It has had a difficult history, but survived all the turmoils with a fine whisky worth tasting.
Glasgow and Clyde Valley
Not too far from Glasgow, you'll find the Glengoyne Distillery. Producing whiskies of a more subtle taste that newcomers find easier to appreciate, the Glengoyne distillery is a great choice for first timers. Nearly 200 years old, this grand distillery is situated in a wooded valley close to a river. These surroundings provide a picturesque setting for the building creating a beautiful environment in which to sample the local whisky.
The Highland Park Distillary in Orkney was founded by a smuggler and is one of six Scottish disitillaries which malts is own barley. Visitors to the centre will have the pleasure of learning about and viewing this process. Not too far away, the Scapa Distillary also welcomes visitors.
The Isles of Islay and Jura
The whiskies from this region have a very distinctive taste that does not appeal to all taste buds. This difference comes about as a result of the using of peat in the malt kilns which occurs on a larger scale here than anywhere else. Some love the taste, other hate it while still others learn to love it. Why not find out which category you fit into by sampling some? There is only one distillery in Jura - quite simply named 'The Isle of Jura Distillary'. The Island of Islay has the following distilleries:
Ardbeg Distilleries in Scotland
Bowmore Distilleries in Scotland
Bruichladdich Distillery in Scotland
Caol Ila Distillery in Scotland
Isle of Jura Distilleries in Scotland
Lagavulin Distilleries in Scotland
Laphroaig Distilleries in Scotland
Isle of Arran
The Isle of Arran Distillery is open through most of the day throughout the year though in winter, their opening times may vary. A visit to this little distillery can be somewhat inspirational and afterwards you can enjoy some more of their distinctive flavor at the bar or enjoy a hearty meal at the restaurant. Book in advance if you plan to bring a group.