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A guide to every whisky connissuer’s dream, Scottish Whisky Trails by Scotland.com

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.

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.

Loch Lomond

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.

Perthshire

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

 

Highlands

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:

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.

Argyll

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.

Orkney

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:

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.