Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail

Old Jan 1st, 2003, 11:04 PM
  #1  
James
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Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail

Anyone visit the Speyside area and tour distileries? What is a good base? Elgin? Dufftown? If we're sampling scotch, we won't want to drive. Are there local buses or tours (we're not big on pre-packaged tours, but could make an exception here). Whisky isn't our only interest, so what else is there to do in this region? Any historic sites?
 
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 11:20 PM
  #2  
janis
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The Speyside area is very compact and you could base anywhere from Inverness to Elgin to Grantown to Dufftown and be just a short drive from sevarl distilleries (an a LOT of other sites).<BR><BR>I would not worry too much about driving over the limit - whisky distery tasting rooms are very stingy with their samples. It is not like the Napa Valley wineries where you can get full glasses of many different vintages and need a designated driver. You will get one small serving of usually one whisky. You could hit five or six in one day and still not have a problem - and the distillery tours are so similar that you probably will only want to visit 2 or 3 in any one day.<BR><BR>Other places that are &quot;Musts&quot;: cawdor Castle, Brodie Castle, Culloden Moor, Balvenie Castle, Ft George, Nairn, Elgin, the Black Isle, etc, etc.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 04:03 AM
  #3  
Joe
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James: We stayed at Elgin (lots of B&amp;Bs) the night before our wander down the Whiskey Trail and ended up in Perth after the day. We stopped at four distilleries, having a &quot;wee dram&quot; at each. We needed a nap after the last stop. Fortunately, the good people of Scotland have provided turn-outs with parking, tables and benches and barbeque pits at almost every turn on the trail. We pulled into one, put the seats back and had our nap. Don't miss Dallas Dhu which is no longer in production (or wasn't when we were there), but is one of the oldest and most beautiful of the distilleries. They provide a good tour and there product can still be purchased from stock on hand. We brought home a thirty-five year old. Fantastic!<BR>janis' suggestions for places to see are good, but for heaven sakes don't miss Pluscardin Abbey near Elgin. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland and the interior is serene beyond belief. Nobody seems to go here when in the area (at least people on this board). We found out about it from good friends who live in Scotland.<BR>janis, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and go to Napa, Sonoma, Livermore (the wine country) faily frequently. I would love to hear about the wineries that offer a full glass for a taste. My experience is a sip or two of each varietal and, nowdays, more often than not, paid for. Not a complaint. Just an observation.<BR>James: You are going to love the area. Have a great trip.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 02:17 PM
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janis
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Joe - I thought about the Napa thing before I hit &quot;post&quot;. I know they are a LOT more stingy than in the &quot;old days&quot;. I was actually thinking more about the Eldorado/foothill wineries that still poor a good taste - and many of them . But I thought more Fodorites would have heard of Napa/Sonoma than of El Dorado, etc. <BR><BR>And you are so right about Plusgarden - a terrific place. Actually the area easily fills a two week itinerary with things to see, especially if you add in places like Huntly and Deeside but unfortunatley many travelers only give it a day or two.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 03:43 PM
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James
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Thank you for the responses. <BR><BR>I agree that Napa &amp; Sonoma visits aren't the same as they used to be, but We have found that in the winter they're uncrowded and more generous. The Santa Barbara area wineries are closer to the older Napa experience year round. But enough about California, I've got my mind on the UK!
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 08:02 PM
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Joe
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janis/James: Love El Dorado/Foothills Wineries. Best Zins in the world. Love Pluscardin Abbey. Love Scotland. Regards, Joe
 
Old Jan 10th, 2003, 05:39 AM
  #7  
Sheila
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James<BR><BR>To go back to the original question, I'd be inclined to suggest you base yourself either at Aberlour or Craigellachie; I think you're right about driving if you're doing a few. I think Janis is being a little too scathing about the menanness of the pourings.<BR><BR>I don't know of any tours but will scout round for you. A private driver is a more realistic option.<BR><BR>If you are not restricted to a specific time, why not come during the malt whisky festival- all sorts of options open up then. <BR><BR>There is WONDERFUL natural history- this is the best bit of Scotland's ancient Caledonian pine forest- and superb scenery; battles, castles, and pre-history.<BR><BR>Don't talk about El Dorado here: it has a totally different meaning
 
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