If you want to visit a nation with rich natural abundance added with a rich history, Scotland will be placed on top of your wish list. Extraordinary walks and natural hiking trails make your visit worthy. History buffs are spoilt of various options ranging from Neolithic age to modern industrial era. But my article is not centered around these aspects rather it will take you to a completely different tour of Scotland where one of the most renowned features of the country will be explored further- trips along the famous Scottish whiskey distilleries. This is for all whiskey enthusiasts.
Being one of the whiskey enthusiasts myself it has been a tough task to sort the best ones as the choices are many. I’ve categorized my list among the most popular and offbeat whiskey trails. First the more famous ones would be tracked and then I shall point towards lesser known distillery wilderness.
Popular Whiskey Trails of Scotland
Distillery of Oban
Oban has been one of the topmost influencers of my formative years of applause for the brand of single malt whiskey. The distillery of Oban is located at the seaside city of Oban. Unlike most other distilleries that are hidden into some deep glen, Oban Distillery is situated in the heart of the city and the city itself grew around it in the last decade of 18th century. The year of establishment of Oban Distillery was 1794. In the course of time Oban Distillery became a part of the world renowned Diageo.
The building of Oban Distillery is an impressive one and located near the harbor. I was pretty impressed with the polished visitor centre. The adjoined shop was softly lit and the upstairs exhibition room enlists mouth-watering whiskey descriptions.
The Distillery offers whiskey trips and one of its introductory trips is the ‘Sensory & Flavor finding Tour’.
Glengoyne Distillery is located at the nearest of Glasgow, Edinburg along with Sterling and even then this place is a nature lover’s paradise. Sheltered amidst Dumgoyne Hills, this distillery is located at pastoral Scottish countryside. While taking a tour of Trossachs National Park, you can reach here quickly.
The Distillery offers you to taste its award winning malts along its ‘Gold Medal Parade’ tour. You would achieve worthy rewards on the way of higher-tier tours and be assured of valuable experience for extra bucks spent. Such tours are not only educational but also well guided.
Official year of foundation of Glengoyne Distillery is 1833 but long before that malt was produced in hidden amidst these hills.
In my opinion one of the greatest Scottish whiskey tours here is Balvenie whiskey trip that includes every detail of its history, work process and ethics. Located in the gorgeously green and sun-kissed town of Speyside Balvenie is famous among tourists for many reasons. All the processes linked with whiskey making are explicitly displayed and associated uniqueness is that malting and coppering of barrels, every process is conducted within the distillery premises. In fact Balvenie is now might be the sole distillery having a personal coppersmith.
Most rewarding part appears when you are offered with some of the best wine specimens at the end of the tour. Tour guide of Balvenie Distillery left an amazing impression on my mind.
Lesser Known but Outstanding Distilleries
Daftmill Distillery might be the smallest of all in Scotland but it’s a worthy stop for many reasons like its mysterious location and its exclusiveness. Southern Scotland has minimum numbers of distilleries and this one makes a difference. Annually a meager amount of 20,000 liters of whiskey is produced and still the month of July this year, not a single bottle was packaged for sale.
While visiting Daftmill, I was not disappointed as the place offered some intriguing things. This distillery is located at a small farm in the middle of Fife. Present owner Francis Cuthbert is the 6th generation of the family and basically is a farm owner of Barley and Potato. The distillery is run only twice a year when the farm produces are not of much importance.
Beautiful old farm buildings house this distillery, majority of which was constructed in the early 1800’s and some even dated 1600’s. This whiskey distillery began its production in 2005.
Highland Park Distillery
Highland Park Distillery is located in the northern island of Orkney Islands. Some of its most fascinating features are classic distillery aesthetics, top-shelf whiskies, a fascinating history and scenic surroundings.
Much similar with Balvine Distillery, Highland Park also believes in doing things older ways. Stone buildings along cobbled alleys, floor malting, smoky kilns, peat fires, copper stills will give you an old world feeling every time you step in.
You can taste its extensive products while on a whiskey trip. However it’s a high end whiskey trip. Highland Park Distillery is a worthy reason to visit Orkney Islands.
Whiskey trip of Scotland is worthy enough reason to visit it and I can assure you that apart from forlorn castles, natural trails and intriguing history, Scottish whiskey tours serve as icing on the cake.