These Highly-Rated Distilleries In Scotland Are A Must Visit

By Rob Cramer on June 21 2020 in Travel

Image credit: AlexeyMarchuk/Shutterstock.com
Image credit: AlexeyMarchuk/Shutterstock.com
  • Speyside Cooperage is the only working cooperage in the UK.
  • Lagavulin Scotch is known for its complex and rich flavor.
  • The Dalwhinnie Distillery is surrounded by the natural beauty of Cairngorms National Park

The popularity of whisky is growing every day. Whisky tastings are becoming increasingly commonplace, and there may be a day when sampling whisky is as popular as sampling wine. Whisky tasting tours are sought after travel experiences, and they are prevalent in countries that produce vast amounts of whisky. The United States, Japan, and Scotland are the three most prominent whisky-producing nations in the world. Scotland in particular is known for world-class whisky. Scotch whisky is the finest in the world, and the whisky distilleries that are scattered over this beautfiul country have fans all over the globe. Here are some of the Scotch whisky distilleries you must visit if you want to experience the finest drams first hand.

8. The Malt Whisky Trail

Scotch whisky barrels lined up seaside on the Island of Islay, Scotland UK. Image credit:  Rebecca Schochenmaier/Shutterstock.com
Scotch whisky barrels lined up seaside on the Island of Islay, Scotland UK. Image credit: Rebecca Schochenmaier/Shutterstock.com

What do you do if you want a whisky tasting tour that is more in-depth? Well, the answer would be to travel along the Malt Whiksy Trail. This trail is completely unique, and there is no other trail like it in the entire world. Traveler can visit multiple distilleries on this trail including Glenlivit, Cardhu, Glenfiddich, Glen Grant, and Strathisla. But that's not all. There is much more to see and do on this tour than just distilleriers. Guests can visit the Speyside Cooperage, which is the only working cooperage in the UK, to see how whisky barrels are made. Craftsmen demonstrate this difficult skill, and visitors can even have a go at making their own mini casks.

7. Macallan

Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland. Image credit: JASPERIMAGE/Shutterstock.com
Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie, Moray, Scotland. Image credit: JASPERIMAGE/Shutterstock.com

Tours of the Macallan Distillery fill up fast, so be sure to book at least six weeks in advance. The peerless spirit experience is the most detailed tour Macallan offers. The tour delves into Macallan’s deep history, and guests receive a sample of the iconic and limited edition cave privee scotch. Guest can sample this exclusive scotch right where it is made. Macallan's stunning cave privee houses years worth of whicky casks. Some have even said that the cave priveee is reminiscent of a Roman ampitheatre. 

6. Talisker

Talisker distillery is an Island single malt Scotch whisky distillery based in Carbost, Scotland on the Isle of Skye. Image credit: Lukassek/Shutterstock.com
Talisker distillery is an Island single malt Scotch whisky distillery based in Carbost, Scotland on the Isle of Skye. Image credit: Lukassek/Shutterstock.com

The Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye is nestled along the shores of Loch Harport. Visitors will get to see the five copper pot stills and traditional worm tubs that are used to make Talisker’s unique whiskies. The detailed tour culminates is a Scotch sampling, and guests will receive exclusive souvenirs. If you are interested in the more nerdy aspects of whisky distilling then this is the perfect tour. Guests will get to sample the finest whiskies and learn about the whisky-making process in great detail.

5. Laphroaig

Laphroaig distillery buildings on the Scottish shore. Image credit: Volodymyr Goinyk/Shutterstock.com
Laphroaig distillery buildings on the Scottish shore. Image credit: Volodymyr Goinyk/Shutterstock.com

Laphroaig has been making whisky for over 200 years. Travelers who visit the Laphroaig Distillery on the south coast of the island of islay will be able to experience the rich history of the region. The malt, maturation, and memories tour gives visitors a top-notch whisky tasting experience. The tour includes a picnic lunch and a hike to the Kilbride water source. This tour is an excellent way to sample high-end whisky while enjoying the beauty of nature.

4. Glenlivet

Whisky barrels at the entrance of Glenlivet Distillery. Image credit: CA Irene Lorenz/Shutterstock.com
Whisky barrels at the entrance of Glenlivet Distillery. Image credit: CA Irene Lorenz/Shutterstock.com

Scotch fans can learn about the deep and intriguing history of Glenlivet with a vist to the Glenlivet Distillery in Ballindalloch, Scotland. If you take the legacy tasting experience tour you can sample a dram of single malt scotch straight from the cask. This tour features extremely rare and limited edition whiskies. The tour costs about $80 USD, but there are more affordable tours that offers more common Glenlivet whiskies.

3. Dalwhinnie

The Dalwhinnie, Highland/UK Distillery is the highest Distillery in Scotland. Image credit: Weltenwandler/Shutterstock.com
The Dalwhinnie, Highland/UK Distillery is the highest Distillery in Scotland. Image credit: Weltenwandler/Shutterstock.com

The Dalwhinnie Distillery is surrounded by the natural beauty of Cairngorms National Park. Natural spring water and peat bogs encompass the Dalwhinnie Distillery. The location allows distillers to create a single male scotch that is embued with gentle flavors of vanilla, honey, and citrus. Travelers visiting the Dalwhinnie Distillery can take a tour which showcases the production and history of whisky distilling. Guests are treated to samples of single malt scotch as well as speciality chocolate.

2. Cardhu

Picturesque main building of Cardhu distillery, Archiestown, Moray, Scotland. Image credit: Francesco Bonino/Shutterstock.com
Picturesque main building of Cardhu distillery, Archiestown, Moray, Scotland. Image credit: Francesco Bonino/Shutterstock.com

The Cardhu Distillery, which is located in the Speyside region of Scotland, is significant because it is the only distillery in the country that was founded by a woman. The “Guess Dhu” tour is a fun and challenging experience for travelers. Guests can take part in a whisky sampling guessing game, and winners secure a place in the Cardhu hall of fame. The Cardhu collection tour allows guest to sample six different single malt whiskies.

1. Lagavulin

A view of the Lagavulin Distillery. Image credit: Tyler W. Stipp/Shutterstock.com
A view of the Lagavulin Distillery. Image credit: Tyler W. Stipp/Shutterstock.com

Lagavulin Scotch is known for its complex and rich flavor. The peaty character of Lagavulin scotch sets it apart from the competition. There are numerous tours available for travelers who visit the Lagavulin Distillery on the isle of Islay in Scotland. The sensory tasting experience tour includes a tasting kit complete with five different whisky samples. The warehouse experience tour allows visitors to view the maturation process of Lagavulin scotch.

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