Scotland is world-renowned for its production of the finest single malt whisky. Each single malt boasts its own unique taste and characteristics, influenced by the wonderful natural spring water so abundant throughout the country. The production methods for each distillery have been meticulously preserved through tradition and their secrets have been guarded through time.
Centuries old methods and fine ingredients create subtle differences and intricate flavours which differentiates one malt whisky from another. Visit some of Scotland’s best-known distilleries on Happy Tour’s Speyside Whisky Tour from Inverness and tick them off your “Scotland distillery tours” map. Enjoy the uisge beatha (meaning “water of life” in the Scots Gaelic) and learn about magic used to turn three basic ingredients: barley, water, and yeast, into the finest Scotch single malt whisky.
Speyside, the home of single malt whisky, boasts the greatest concentration of distilleries in Scotland. The abundance of spring water and fertile lands (thanks to the River Spey) makes the region rich in natural ingredients. This is a great starting point for producing the finest single malt whisky, and an even better place for us to start our Speyside Whisky Day Tour! Taking one of our whisky tours from Inverness is not only a great opportunity for taste testing, but also for seeing the beautiful landscapes of Speyside.
Our day starts with a tour and tasting at Tomatin Distillery, which has been producing malt whisky since 1897. Having been named one of the “best in travel” destinations by Lonely Planet (2019), we’re sure you will enjoy your experience, and of course the soft, mellow notes of this wonderful Highland single malt.
We leave the rugged Highlands behind, and begin our journey through the lush Spey Valley, passing golden barley fields on our whisky trail, one of the three key ingredients used in the magic of single malt whisky production.
Enjoy a tasting at Cardhu Distillery, which was established in 1824 by former whisky smugglers, John and Helen Cumming. In the days of the couple’s illicit distilling, Helen would fly a red flag to warn the neighbours that excise men were lodging with them at their farm. Cardhu Distillery was one of the first to partner with John Walker & Sons. It has remained in this family for 200 years, carefully producing the “elegant, smooth, sensual character of Cardhu” single malt whisky.
On a Speyside Whisky Tour, where else would you enjoy lunch but at a whisky bar? We stop off at the Mash Tun in Aberlour to enjoy a bite to eat (to line the stomach), some craic (banter) and perhaps a dram for the road?
It’s said that “Rome was built on seven hills, and Dufftown stands on seven stills”. One of those stills is the world famous Glenfiddich Distillery, next on the itinerary for whisky tours from Inverness. Glenfiddich is one of the few distilleries that remains family owned, producing a distinctive single malt developed by generations of “maverick whisky makers”. Today, Glenfiddich is the most awarded Single Malt Whisky, a testament to the distillery’s uncompromising methods.
Finally, a tasting at Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin takes us back to the traditional. A change in ownership in 2008 has seen the distillery go “back to basics” and produce a quality, uncomplicated Speyside single malt. The “Elgin Heritage” range is the result, comprising of a 12-, 15- and 18-year-old single malt that does not disappoint and ends our whisky tours from Inverness on a high.
So, sit back, relax, and partake in the finest of Scotland’s “amber nectar”. We become your ‘designated driver’ on the very best Speyside Whisky tours from Inverness available! And with our luxury 8-seater minibus, you’ll travel in style and in comfort.