When designing a trip around Scotland with the main focus being whisky, it's worth remembering that the first question we ask is - what is your taste? The flavour of a whisky is influenced by the local water source in each area, so we of course want to put together distillery tours which complement each other. The Scottish Gaelic name for whisky is 'uisge-beatha' which is literally translated as 'water of life' and after one of our guided distillery tours in Scotland, you will be full of the water of life!
The most recognised area for Scotch whisky is of course Speyside, which is fantastically located for a mini getaway from Edinburgh. With its fruity and delicate tones, it may not suit everyone, although who wouldn't like a sample with vanilla apples and honey aromas? We highly recommend visiting the Balvenie Distillery as the tour takes you on a journey from floor-malting to the production process. If one distillery isn't enough, then a stop at the Macallan Distillery will complete the day; it's perfect for our US clients who, if they're a whisky enthusiast, will already know of Macallan. With the Scots pouring large samples left, right and centre, it's well worth stopping at Glenfiddich Distillery's old malting building for a superb lunch. Travelling with one of our expert driver-guides means you can focus on enjoying the golden liquor whilst they navigate the roads.
Isle of Islay Whisky
Calling all hardcore whisky drinkers - if it's smoky and peaty whisky you like, then Isle of Islay can meet your demands; dotted along the beautiful coastline are eight distilleries on a smaller Scottish whisky trail. To pick just a couple is hard for us - but gun to our head, we'd suggest Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig Distillery. The latter being owned by the Beam Suntory Group of Distilleries, renowned for its peaty whisky. It's really down to personal taste; one of our whisky expert guides is known to pop into the Bunnahabhain and Bruichladdich Distillery! If you have the time to island-hop, then Talisker Distillery on Isle of Skye is a firm favourite. It's a tough competition when we're also including Tobermory Distillery on Isle of Mull.
You just can't miss out visiting the Highlands when smooth and floral whisky is concerned. For whisky fanatics, an in-depth tour at Glen Ord, followed by the Industrial Maltings adjacent the distillery is a major part of an extensive whisky trip around Scotland. The malt produced here is on a huge scale, but still bears tradition and respect to the industry's needs. Another great whisky distillery in Highlands is Tomatin, with its on-site coppers, shell and tube condenser to examine. You really will be a pro by the end of this tour!