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Do you want to turn from a whisky novice to a connoisseur? Well, one of the best ways to learn more about the sophisticated spirit is by taking a whisky distillery tour to witness the creation of the famous drink.

A distillery tour is a great way to learn about the whisky-making process and experience the unique flavours and aromas of different whiskies. Here's what you can expect from a typical distillery tour.

Steps of a distillery whisky tour
  • Introduction: Your tour guide will give you begin the tour with an introduction to the distillery's history and the whisky-making process.
  • Malting: You'll then learn about malting, the first step in the whisky-making process, and see how barley is turned into malted barley.
  • Mashing: Next, you'll learn about mashing, the process of mixing malted barley with hot water to release the sugars that will later be fermented into alcohol.
  • Fermentation: You'll see the fermentation process in action and learn how yeast is added to the mixture to convert the sugars into alcohol.
  • Distillation: You'll see the distillation process, where the fermented mixture is heated, and the alcohol is separated from the water.
  • Maturation: You'll learn about the importance of maturation in the whisky-making process and see the barrels where the whisky is aged.
  • Tasting: Finally, you'll get to sample the distillery's whiskies and learn how to appreciate the different flavours and aromas.

Throughout the tour, your guide will answer any questions you may have and provide insights into the unique characteristics of the distillery's whiskies. Some distilleries may also offer additional experiences, such as blending your own whisky or taking a sensory tasting class.

Overall, a distillery tour is a fun and informative experience that allows you to deepen your appreciation for whisky and the art of whisky-making.

An extra special Scottish distillery tour

There are certain places that specialise in distillery tours and give an extra special experience, one of those places being Scotland. A Scottish whisky distillery trip is a dream come true for many whisky lovers and it’s a great chance to visit this highland haven and explore its natural beauty. Here's a plan for the ultimate Scottish whisky distillery trip.

Day 1: Edinburgh

Start your trip in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city. Spend the day exploring the city's rich history, architecture, and culture. Take a stroll down the Royal Mile, visit Edinburgh Castle, and stop by one of the city's many whisky bars to sample a dram or two.

The Royal Mile is a historic and iconic street in the heart of Edinburgh.
Day 2: Speyside

Head north to Speyside, the heart of Scotland's whisky production. Speyside is home to over half of Scotland's distilleries, so you'll have plenty of options to choose from. Some of the most popular distilleries in Speyside include Glenfiddich, Macallan, and Balvenie.

The scenic backdrop of Speyside for visitors exploring the whisky trails.
Day 3: Islay

Take a ferry from the mainland to the island of Islay, known for its peaty, smoky whiskies. Islay is home to eight distilleries, including Lagavulin, Laphroaig, and Ardbeg. Take a tour of one or more of the distilleries to learn about the whisky-making process and sample some of their signature whiskies.

Islay is home to several world-famous distilleries.
Day 4: Campbeltown

Take another ferry to the town of Campbeltown, once known as the "whisky capital of the world." Although there are only three active distilleries in Campbeltown today, they all have a rich history and produce some of Scotland's most unique and flavourful whiskies. Visit Springbank, Glen Scotia, and/or Mitchell's Glengyle distilleries and sample their whiskies.

A peaceful coastal retreat with a touch of whisky heritage.
Day 5: Highlands

Head back to the mainland and spend the day exploring the Highlands, home to some of Scotland's most scenic landscapes and historic distilleries. End your trip with a visit to Dalwhinnie, the highest distillery in Scotland.

Explore the Highlands' diverse distilleries and indulge in the artistry of whisky-making.

If you are flying out of Heathrow to embark on your Scottish adventure, then why not get a taste of what is to come with some Scotch whisky at the airport? Enjoy a splash of Johnnie Walker or The Famous Grouse, as well as several other notable Scotch whiskeys, before you set off on your travels.