Winter is soon approaching so what’s better than a nip or two of whisky while on holidays in Scotland? If you’re a fan of this country’s golden nectar then there’s no better way to experience long-standing Scottish traditions than a tour of its distilleries.
This Speyside distillery may be small but its whiskies certainly pack a well-rounded, smoky punch. It was started in 1898 and continues to produce fine whisky using water from a nearby spring, Chapelton Springs. Not only does this distillery produce single malt whisky but it also has a makes a certified organic range of whisky.
For anyone that knows a thing or two about whisky, this is a must-stop on the distillery trail. Aberlour is the number one favourite in France and is one of the few producing whisky using vintage way. Using ex-bourbon casks as well as casks that used to store fortified wines, the whisky has a subtle sherry finish with a slight of spice.
Many consider this region the Bordeaux of whisky and it all started with this one distillery, Glenlivet. No wonder they use the slogan, “The single malt that started it all.” The distillery remained open during the Great Depression and only closed once, when World War II hit. Can you imagine that Scotland rationed grain used for bread in order to feed the distilleries?
Glenfiddich was an innovative distillery in many ways. When hard times hit many of the smaller distilleries in the 1960s and 1970s, Glenfiddich expanded production, introduced advertising campaigns and opened a visitor’s centre to attract more attention and income. The distillery’s prize whisky is the Glenfiddich 1937 which was bottled in 2001 after 64 years of ageing, producing a small lot of only 61 bottles.
The grandfather of Scottish whisky distilleries, Strathisla is the oldest continuously running distillery in Scotland having been founded in 1789. The buildings on-site have barely changed since the beginning, which is why the house’ double pagoda rooftop has become a historical landmark in the region. Each tour ends with a dram of 12 year old and 18 year old Chivas Regal whisky.
Not all whisky distilleries have honest beginnings. Cardhu, just near Archiestown was founded by a whisky smuggler in 1824. It’s the only whisky distillery that was mainly run by women in the beginning, first the founder’s wife selling whisky from their kitchen window to passers-by and then their daughter. Today Cardhu produces much of the whisky used in Johnnie Walker blends.
Heading to Scotland? Check out How to: experience Edinburgh for FREE.