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How Many Distilleries Are On The Scottish Whisky Trail

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  • 15-07-2022
How Many Distilleries Are On The Scottish Whisky Trail

How many distilleries are on the Scottish whisky trail? Find out more about the Speyside way whisky trail and why you should take the tour while visiting the Highlands.

What is the Speyside Way Whisky Trail?

Can you even call yourself a whisky fan if you've never been on the Speyside Way Whisky Trail? This trail takes you through 72 miles of the stunning Speyside whisky region over a few days, with visits to some of the most famous of Scotland's malt whisky distilleries in the local area.

One of Scotland's "Great Trails", the Malt Whisky Trail, should not be missed. 

Speyside's Malt Whisky Trail

The Speyside Malt Whisky Trail is unique in that it is the only trail of its kind in the world. Alongside being in the gorgeous scenery of "malt whisky country" in Speyside, the Malt Whisky Trail gives you the opportunity to visit many of the most famous whisky distilleries in the world, along with a historic distillery and the famous Speyside Cooperage.

Over half of the malt whisky distilleries in Scotland can be found in Speyside, and they are truly the world's greatest distillers creating some of the most famous whiskies. If you are a whisky fan or are naturally curious about the ancient art of malt whisky distilling, the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail is the perfect journey.

Cardhu Distillery

From your first port of call, you'll be heading north to the Cardhu Distillery in Knockandu. Cardhu holds the unique distinction of being the only whisky distillery in the region formed by a woman, Helen Cumming.

After your tour, you can participate in a tasting and nosing session overseen by a dedicated whisky expert.

Speyside Cooperage

Over in Dufftown, you'll find the next stop on the Malt Whisky Trail at the famous Speyside Cooperage. Lying at the heart of the whisky region, this is the only cooperage still in operation in the UK.

It is difficult not to be impressed by the gigantic pyramids of whisky barrels kept there, not to mention being shown the ancient art of barrel making using traditional methods and tools.

Glenfiddich Distillery

You couldn't wish for a better start to the second leg of the Malt Whisky Trail than a visit to the famous Glenfiddich Distillery.

Even those who don't drink whisky will recognise the name. 

A true legend of the craft, Glenfiddich have been producing some of the finest malt whisky in the world ever since it started in 1887.

After partaking in the tasting and nosing session, you can fill your own bottle of Glenfiddich straight from their casks.

Glenfiddich Distillery - Distilleries Are On The Scottish Whisky Trail

Glen Grant Distillery

The next stop is in Rothes, where you will find the Glen Grant Distillery.

Besides a private tasting session with a master distiller, you can take a tour around the beautiful Victorian garden son the premisses to truly soak in the atmosphere.

Strathisla Distillery

Strathisla is the oldest distillery in the Scottish highlands. Found in Keith, the famous whisky producer began operation all the way back in 1786.

Their fantastic tours will give you a great insight into the historic art of blending and reveal how they produce their Chivas Regal premium blends. 

Glen Moray Distillery

Glen Moray offers perhaps the most in-depth tour of all the Speyside distilleries.

You can take the "Regular Tour", where you will learn about their dedicated team of whisky experts and their unique distilling process.

Alternatively, if you want to get a true behind-the-scenes look, the "Fifth Chapter Tour" is led by the distillery manager and provides a truly enlightening experience.

Glen Moray Distillery - Distilleries On The Scottish Whisky Trail

Benromach Distillery

Over in Forres, you'll find the Benromach Distillery, which boasts the accolade of being the only fully-certified, organic single malt producer.

They offer a warm welcome and a detailed, manager-led tour followed by an opportunity to bottle your own dram of Benromach whisky.

Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery

Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery is one of the only examples of how whisky distilling was done in days gone by.

This truly insightful tour for whisky fans reveals the Speyside region's historic passion for whisky distilling. After closing its doors in 1983, the Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery has become something of a pilgrimage for Scottish malt fans. 

History Of Scottish Whisky

Whisky is one of Scotland's biggest exports, with 200 countries benefiting from their expertise. The industry generates £2.5 billion each year, and it's easy to see why.

Scotland produces the widest range of premium whiskies anywhere in the world, from popular blends to the rarest single malts. 

Nestled along the River Spey, between the mountainous highlands and the Moray Firth, Speyside has been the heart of Scotland's whisky production for centuries.

However, while there are now over 100 world-famous working distilleries in Scotland, with more than half of them being in Speyside, the industry had humble beginnings.

In 1644, the English Parliament imposed an excise duty on whisky, pushing many amateur distillers out of business. However, the sheltered hillsides of Glenlivet offered a place for renegade distillers and smugglers to operate.

Whisky smuggling became a full-time operation in the region, with over 200 illegal stills hiding their produce in the wild heather of the rugged terrain.

History Of Scottish Whisky

These tiny illegal stills made distillers such as Robbie McPherson famously wealthy during the 19th century. Well-hidden, interconnected stills could easily avoid the excise men when they came to town, with neighbours warning each other of the authorities in the area.

It wasn't until 1824 that George Smith had the revolutionary idea to turn legitimate and found the Glenlivet distillery, the first fully-licensed whisky producer in the region. While he put many smugglers out of business, Glenlivet whiskey became one of Scotland's most successful brands.

Top ways to enjoy Scottish whisky

If you are looking for the best ways to enjoy Scotland's most famous drink, and are of the legal drinking age, here are a few we'd suggest:

As you can guess, our favourite way to enjoy real Scottish whiskies is in the distilleries that make them, with the Speyside Trail offering the best guided tours in the world.

It won't come as a surprise that Speyside also has its own whisky festival each year in late April/early May. This is the best way to taste a wider range of wonderful whisky all in one place.

Barge cruises along the Caledonian Canal or throughout Isaly and the Hebrides are another fantastic way to unwind and enjoy some fantastic local Scottish whiskies.

If you want a more city-based whisky experience, guided bar crawls through Glasgow and Edinburgh offer an entertaining way to experience all the whiskies Scotland has to offer.

Call 07836 332 342 today to book your executive transport.

If you are interested in taking sightseeing tours or Scottish Whiskey Trail Tours to explore the breath-taking landscape throughout Inverness and the Highlands get in touch. We offer chauffeur driven tours for sightseeing in Scotland.

Chauffeur Driven Whiskey Tours Scotland