Home of the telephone, television, haggis, Sherlock Homes and even James Bond, Scotland unveils a delightful pastiche of living and ancient history. But its most popular discovery is, without a doubt, Scotch Whisky—be it blended or single malt, old or young. So, as single malt enjoys something of a renaissance, we’ve created the perfect tipple tour enlisting some of the best distilleries from across the country. Each one offers a guided tour followed by the best part: a tasting. Welcome to Scotch-land!
1 Start from: Glasgow
The Glaswegian word gallus, which translates to daring or cheeky, best encapsulates the charm of one of the finest Victorian cities in Britain and the largest city in Scotland—Glasgow. The old industrial heartland on the West Coast is now a UNESCO City of Music and the 1990 European City of Culture. Easy accessibility, sublime shopping and scrumptious food and drinks makes it the perfect place to start a whisky tour. Swing by Cafe Gandolfi for some unpretentious-yet-delicious Scottish food. And head to Waxy’s O’Connors, with its three floors, six bars and nine different areas, for a well-deserved cocktail. If you’d rather focus on the country’s national drink, then nip around to one of the city’s distilleries, from those ensconced in the country-side to those hardly-out-of-town. Some favourites include Deanston—a distillery that’s less than 35 miles from the city centre, Auchentoshan—at a mere ten miles from central Glasgow, it has visitor tours as well as options for total whisky enthusiasts, and Glengoyne—barely 15 miles away, this is an undeniably attractive distillery with its whitewashed walls with a slew of tours on offer.
2 Head to: Oban
Touted as one of the most picturesque drives in Scotland, this two-hour route takes you past Loch Lomond lake. The highlight of the charming resort town is the eponymous distillery. Built in 1794 and owned by Diageo, Oban distillery has only two pot stills. Although one of the smallest distilleries in the country, you can witness the traditional craftsmanship of whisky production before grabbing your complimentary drams of the Oban 14-year-old West Highland Malt. Don’t forget to sample some fresh seafood at the end of the pier before you head to your next stop.
3 Followed by: Isle Of Islay
With eight world-class distilleries dotting what’s known as the ‘whisky coast’, you can call Islay a whisky-lover’s dream. Islay is best known for its peaty and smokey malts. Start your whisky tour at one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries, Bowmore. It’s a great place to see traditional whisky-making from the malting of the barley to the peat-fired kilns. Next head west to visit Kilchoman, which opened in 2005 and is one of only a handful of distilleries practicing floor malting. Historic Laphroaig distillery is not far away either. Their distil has even found patronage among Prince Charles, who has visited Laphroaig not once but twice. Every year, the island also hosts the FПis нle music and whisky festival.