If people had to associate one thing with Scotland, many would vote for its whisky. The two have gone hand in hand for multiple centuries, with some of the world’s most famous, historic and notable whisky distilleries residing in this northern region of the United Kingdom. Though there are many sites to see, from medieval castles and Stone Age dwellings to naturally stunning landscapes and rich culture & history, one of the most memorable things to do in Scotland is follow its Scottish Whisky Trail. Join us as we take a brief walk through the history, destinations and best stops along the Trail!
The Grampian Highlands
Though there are many destinations throughout Scotland that have a rich history of producing the “water of life,” the Grampian Highlands, and specifically its Strathspey (Speyside) area are amongst its most famous. Home to over nine world-renowned malt whisky distilleries, Speyside is where visitors can find many of the most famous names in Scotch whisky. From the historic Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and Strathisla distilleries (dating as far back as 1786) to Glen Moray, Glen Grant and Cardhu, Scotch whisky enthusiasts will be educated, trained and entertained in these historic destinations. Also home to the Speyside Cooperage, visitors will be able to walk through and experience the only working cooperage in the entire United Kingdom. Open since 1947, this cooperage takes the finest American Oaks (using only traditional tools and methods) and turns them into oak casks shipped and used at distilleries all around the world. Definitely worth the modest price of admission!
Touring the Capital
Get more technical insights with your Scotch whisky tours at the capital city of Edinburgh where the Scotch Whisky Experience and Scotch Whisky Heritage Center can be found. Get a glimpse into the history and processes of creating Scotch whisky with interactive rides, guided tours and, of course, a tasting session at the end. Home to the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whiskies, thumb through the massive, informative menu and choose your preferred sample. Truly a must do for any lover of whisky!
A Walk Back in Time
Located in the central region of Scotland, Perthshire is home to both the oldest and smallest distilleries in the country. If you want to taste Scotland’s best selling whisky, head for the Glenturret Distillery. Also the oldest distillery in the country, visitors can take the informative Famous Grouse Experience tour, one of the most popular tours in the country. The Edradour Distillery is another must-visit, which is the country’s smallest to date. Walking through its traditional equipment and small production area might give you a feel like you’re at someone’s house rather than in a major distillery. A final famous producer in this region is the Aberfeldy Distillery, which still produces the world-famous Dewar’s Scotch on site today. Also home to the Dewar’s World of Whisky, visitors can learn even more about the history of the drink at this great Scotch whisky heritage center.
An Entirely Different Flavor
For a tour that stands out from the rest, your Scotch Whisky tour guide will point your whisky tumblers in the direction of the Isles of Islay and Jura. This whisky-producing region has a process that distinguishes itself from all the other stills and regions in the country: it uses peat in its malt kilns on a much larger scale. Some enthusiasts, connoisseurs and general whisky tourists love the added flavor while others totally despise it; and there’s only one way for you to find out whether you’ll like it or not! A truly unique scotch experience is assured at the Isle of Jura Distillery, Ardbeg, Bowmore & Laphroaig distilleries… sip away and make your choices!
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