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9 of the Best Whisky Distillery Tours in Scotland

9 of the Best Whisky Distillery Tours in Scotland

With over 120 active distilleries, Scotland is a whisky lover’s paradise. Discover, taste and enjoy Scotland’s national drink with a distillery tour on your next trip to Scotland.

One of Scotland’s largest exports, the never-ending passion for single malt whisky is evident as many whisky fans from around the world make the pilgrimage to Scotland to uncover what goes into making their favourite golden dram. Take a distillery tour and discover everything about the whisky making process, from mashing and fermenting to distilling and maturation. And don’t forget tasting! No visit would be complete without experiencing Scotland’s most popular produce.

1. The Macallan, Aberlour

Founded in 1824, The Macallan is not only one of the most iconic whiskies in the world, but it is also now famed for its spectacular distillery visitor centre. Thanks to a £140m revamp in 2018, the building is a stunning piece of architecture celebrated with many design awards. Cut into the slope of the land, the distillery’s grass topped roof and futuristic curves merge into the Scottish landscape. Visitors can learn about the history of the brand and the production journey. After that, don’t forget to visit the Macallan Bar and browse over 950 of the rarest Macallan.

 

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2. Glengoyne Distillery, Glasgow

Situated only 40 minutes from Glasgow, the Glengoyne distillery feels worlds away from the bustling city. Established in 1833, the picturesque distillery sits at the foot of Dumgoyne hill on the edge of the Campsie Fells and is surrounded by beautiful Scottish countryside. Glengoyne offers several types of tours to suit any level of knowledge, as well as masterclasses and one-off events.

 

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3. Glenmorangie, Tain

Located about one-hours’ drive north of Inverness, Glenmorangie is a popular distillery to visit in the Highlands of Scotland. Established in 1843, the distillery features some of the tallest stills in Scotland. With a wide range of tours, discover everything there is to know about this popular brand, before enjoying a tasting of the award-winning liquid.

 

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4. Auchentoshan, Glasgow

Situated just 20 minutes from Glasgow, Auchentoshan is easy to reach by car or public transport. One of the few lowland malts left in the region, this distillery produces some of the lightest whisky in Scotland and is known for its smooth and delicate taste. A wide range of tour packages are available, the most popular being a 60-minute tour and tasting. In addition, the distillery also offers special tours where you can go behind the scenes, have private access, or bottle your very own whisky.

 

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5. Laphroig, Isle of Islay

Islay is a beautiful Scottish island famed for its whisky production and currently home to nine working distilleries. Established in 1825, Laphroig is one of the most famous Islay scotches. A must-visit for anyone who loves peated whisky. With various tour packages available, one of the most popular is a four-and-a-half-hour adventure that takes you through the distillery, out to the peat bogs and over to the distillery’s water source. In addition, the visitor centre also has a lounge bar where you can relax and unwind with your favourite dram or cocktail.

6. Highland Park, Orkney Mainland

Set in the remote isle of Orkney, Highland Park was founded in 1798 and is the most northerly large whisky distillery in Scotland. An insightful trip for any whisky die-hards, the distillery still retains a lot of its traditional processes, including 100-year-old kilns and a traditional malting floor, one of the few distilleries still to do this on site. The brand places a firm emphasis on its Nordic Viking roots, clearly seen in its product names, packaging and daily tours.

 

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7. Old Pulteney, Wick

Founded in 1826, the Pulteney Distillery is located in the town of Wick and is one of the most northerly distilleries on the British mainland. Situated near Scotland’s popular North Coast 500 route, Wick is a popular stopping point due to the ancient ruins, historic castles and stunning scenery and wildlife in the area. Make a stop at the distillery to discover more about this ‘maritime malt’, which is said to take inspiration and flavours from the coast. A wide range of tours are available, covering the distillery’s history and buildings, and also include an enticing complimentary sample.

8. Talisker, Isle of Skye

The oldest working distillery on the breath-taking Isle of Skye, Talisker is set on the shores of Loch Harport in the village of Carbost. Founded in 1830, the distillery is set amongst the most extreme Scottish landscape with the rugged Black Cuillin mountain range visible in the distance. The Isle of Skye and the distillery can get very busy with tourists in summer months, so it is advised to book a tour in advance.

9. Jura, Isle of Jura

A small remote island found off the West Coast of Scotland is home to the Jura Distillery. Only 60 miles from the mainland, the island feels otherworldly. Once described by George Orwell as ‘the most un-get-atable place’, it was on Jura where he completed his famous novel ‘1984’. Founded in 1810, the distillery endured various periods of misuse, until it was relaunched in 1963. With daily distillery tours, tasting packages and an annual summer whisky festival, you won’t regret making the journey to this unique island.

 

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