Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Whiskey Tour in Scotland - Thanks Barbara

Whiskey Tour in Scotland - Thanks Barbara

Jun 1st, 2006, 09:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 262
Whiskey Tour in Scotland - Thanks Barbara

Iam interested in doing a wiskey tour in the highlands in Scotland. I really haven't framed this out, but i am looking for ideas in terms of:

How long do we need?
trains vs. rental cars?
where to fly in?
time of year? i was thinking september
worth spending time in glasgow / edinburgh?

all i really know is that i want to visit royal lochnagar and dalwhinnie.

any help would be great!
JMWF is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,749
JMWF, JMWF, JMWF.......there's no "e" in whisky in Scotland. You're about to be banned for life fron Highland distilleries! LOL! Please don't re-post or people will get upset with you or posting the same question several times.

Have a great time in Scotland.
Barbara is online now  
Jun 1st, 2006, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
JMWF: I'll ignore the "e" (otherwise we are talking Ireland)

There are whisky distilleries all over Scotland royal lochnagar is in Ballater and Dalwhinnie is in Newtonmore on the Spey. Also up on/near Speyside are several others including Glenlivet and Glenfiddich. Glenfiddich may have the best visitor center/tour. The general Speyside area is called the "Whisky Trail" but as I said, there are distilleries all over - on islands, in other parts of the highland and in the lowlands

Sept is a fine time. Just doing whisky stops would seem a waste since there is so much else to see.

I'd plan on 2 or 3 days in Edinburgh, then renting a car and spending a week heading north to Deeside and Speyside. If you have longer, you could also hit places like Skye, or even better for Whisky - Isla. But these are islands on the west coast so you really would need about 2 weeks to do a reasonable loop.
janisj is online now  
Jun 1st, 2006, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 152
Just saying - but Dalwhinnie is not IN Newtonmore - it's 10 miles away. I was brought up in Dalwhinnie, and for what it's worth, my father was a stillman at Dalwhinnie distillery for about 35 years until he reired in the 1970's. You'll see his photo displayed there. Why did you particuarly want to visit Dalwhinnie, JMWF?
BettyB is offline  
Jun 1st, 2006, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,315
Yeah - I know. But Newtonmore is about as close a place as the OP might find on a general map.

That's neat you Dad worked there.
janisj is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2006, 02:52 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 208
I do not know how long you have got for your visit but you have a great choice. Some people have been doing it for years and still find reasons to go back for more.

You will need a car but just ensure that the driver does not have too many wee drams before driving.

I would suggest that you may start off and finish in Edinburgh as you can fly into and out of there quite easily.

Near Edinburgh at Pencaitland is Glenkinchie Distillery and they have a very good distillery tour. This is medium and aromatic whisky and will either get you started or be the final visit of your stay depending on your choice.
As you leave Edinburgh travel north on the A9 and when you reach Pitlochry consider going to the Edradour Distillery - the smallest distillery in Scotland which produces a creamy whisky which is warming. Continue north on and the next distillery is Blair Athol and along with the Distillery visit you may be interested in going round Blair Castle. Continue travelling north on the A9 and look for the signs for Dalwhinnie as it is bypassed by the main road. Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland -the whisky changes quite a bit from those mentioned previously as it is slightly oily with a light taste of peat. Continue on the A9 until just north of Aviemore and take the A95 to Granton On Spey and then onto Dufftown and you are then in the Speyside area the heart of the whisky production. Here you may think about visiting Cragganmore, Glenfiddich, Cardhu, Macallan to name but a few, This will take you into Charlestown and there turn south on the A941 and then you can think about visiting the likes of Craigellachie, Balvenie, Mortlach and Dufftown. Depending on your choice of places to visit make your way down to the A97 and continue south tothe A93 where you can visit Lochnagar. With the problems of the current exchange rate be warned that the special casket limited edition of Royal Lochnagar is selling for about £180 so you may want to miss buying one of these bottles.
I have only scratched the surface of the better known distilleries and there are numerous others you may wish to visit and I am sure that you will continually get suggestions from others on the forum on distilleries to visit.
Such a tour may take longer than you expect but with a wide variety of distilleries concentrated in Speyside it allows you to be flexible with your timetable.
I am sure that you will have a great time especially as each distillery produces whisky with a different taste and aroma from the others so it can be very interesting. The good thing with such a tour is that it gives you the opportunity to know the whiskies which suit you for various occasions.

+................................................. ...........................+...................... .................................................. ................................
meks is offline  
Jun 4th, 2006, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,156
A minor word of warning; you may get burn out. Whilst it would be a gross overstatement to say that once you've seen one distillery, you've seen them all, you really truly do not want to spend your whole holiday inside whisky distilleries.

There are 5 main areas for whisky on Scotland- some books say 4, but I'm sticking with 5.

The stretch from Scapa and Highland Park on Orkney, to Bladnoch in Galloway; and from Kilchoman (go on, ask me about it) on Islay to Glen Garioch in Aberdeenshire. Off the top of my head there are 87 producing distilleries in the country.

Now, only a very few of them malt their own barley and it's nice to see that if you can. Balvenie on Speyside is one, and it does tours BY APPOINTMENT only. Bowmore on Islay is another.

There is a visitor centre cooperage at Craigellachie on Speyside; and Dallas Dhu, also on Speyside is closed and used as a visitor centre. The Famous Grouse (a blend) has set up its "Visitor Experience" at Glenturret- another option for you.

Having just come back from Islay and its whisky festival; and having visited the Speyside festival in the past, I'm tempted to suggest that you set up your trip round something liek that, so you get the benefit of some taught expertise. I just went to check the dates for the Speside Festival- early May- and discovered there's something on in Dufftown from the 22nd -25th May.

Bottom line here is, whilst you might want to get a flavour of distuillery visiting, what you really want a taste of is the cratur itself.

So, take a year out of your life, tour Scotland and DRINK. You will not get to most distilleries by train, thanks to Dr Beeching- there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Dalwhinnie is OK, by Lochnagar is not. Fly in wherever it's cheapest. Spend time in Edinburgh to visit the Scotch Malt Whisky Society at the Vaults


and Glasgow to visit some of the pubs.

Drink in the Craigellachie Hotel and the Lochside in Islay and read Ian Banks "Raw Spirit; In search of the Perfect Dram", and have a great time.

Now, back to work

sheila is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Nov 30th, 2015 02:53 PM
Apr 28th, 2013 05:11 AM
Jan 12th, 2007 10:52 PM
Jun 11th, 2006 01:58 AM
Jun 14th, 2004 02:38 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:38 PM.