Top 5 Must-See Whisky Distilleries of the Scottish Highlands
Published: Thu Jun 10
The production of Scotch whisky has been a proud part of Scotland's heritage since the 1400s so. For those looking to explore and taste a dram (or two), Happy Tours is here to fill you in on our 5 top must-see distilleries of the Scottish Highlands.
The Glenfarclas Distillery resides near the picturesque village of Ballindalloch, Speyside, and has been producing Scotch whisky under the keen eye of the Grants of Glenfarclas since 1865. This 6th generation family-owned business prides itself on using traditional distilling methods with only malted barley, the purest, natural spring water, and yeast to create their wide range of Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. The team at Glenfarclas uses only the most well-made European oak casks to house their whisky and is one of the few Scottish distilleries that honour the time-old tradition of distilling their whisky in fired stills. Many other distilleries have switched to external heating systems for a variety of reasons however Glenfarclas continues the traditions and techniques passed down throughout the generations.
Glenfarclas Distillery is known for producing internationally adored and award-winning Scotch whisky like their 25 Year Old Single Malt. It won the Drammies Award – Best Whisky 2014, the IWSC – Silver Outstanding 2014, and many more throughout the years with connoisseurs rating it as one of the most affordable, best-aged whiskies available. If you plan to visit the Highlands and Speyside and wish to tour this traditional distillery, then check out our Speyside Whisky Day Tour on our website. Once you have experienced all the wonders of this Scotch whisky distillery, why not walk the Speyside Way or stop off at Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens to explore some of Scotland’s history.
Just a short drive on our Speyside Whisky Day Tour from Glen Moray Distillery, nestled alongside the town of Forres, Speyside, is one of our favourite and smallest whisky producing distilleries is Benromach Distillery. Specialising in matured Single Malt Scotch whisky, Benromach relies on their dedicated, trustworthy, whisky-loving experts to hand-fill and individually weigh each cask so they are ready to be stowed away in Benromach’s dunnage warehouse. Each malt is left to mature in its own first-fill cask that a member of the Benromach family will have stencilled by hand to ensure every process within the whisky production is done with care.
Benromach Distillery produces only the finest quality handmade Scotch whisky, including their signature 10 Year Old Single Malt. This full-bodied, soft smoked whisky carries the hint of forest fruits such as black cherry and apple to complement the delicate toffee and honey flavours. Make the most of your visit to the Forres area on our Speyside Whiskey Day Tour and stop to admire the local history held at Sueno’s Stone or Nelson’s Tower. Book now to experience all the beautiful Highland and Speyside countryside has to offer in our Happy Tours luxury 8-seater minibus.
Since 1843 Glenmorangie Distillery has been crafting delicious single malt Scotch whisky from the finest ingredients, hugely popular both locally and internationally. In 1887, Glenmorangie Distillery was the first distillery to switch from fire-heated stills to steam-heated, and it is thanks to their copper stills’ incredibly tall necks (the tallest in Scotland) that their whisky is packed full of delicate tastes and fruity aromas. This proud distillery thrives on experimenting with its products and offers a hugely extensive range of mixology recipes and suggestions of flavours or meals to complement each whisky based concoction, all of which have been carefully created by the Glenmorangie expert team.
Glenmorangie Distillery’s very own Signet Single Malt is hugely popular for its butterscotch and dark chocolate flavour mixed with spices and bitter mocha. Combined with Glenmorangie’s most matured whisky, these flavours merge to create an intense explosion of sweetness and spice all rolled into one. If you are looking to discover more of what surrounds Glenmorangie Distillery then the village of Tain is only a short trip down the road. The Tain & District Museum is an amazing way to learn about this Highland village and all of its history. Or why not stop by Brown’s Art Gallery and admire the stunning pieces of artwork on display?
Whether you find yourself on the first stop of our Speyside Whiskey Day Tour or take a stroll on our Cairngorms Tour, Tomatin Distillery is a must-see… and sample. In 1897, Tomatin Distillery began creating their famous single malt Scotch whisky and it is in fact because of the wealth created from the distillery that the town of Tomatin was built. Using the purest of Highland water from the Alt-na-Frith burn and locally sourced Scottish barley, Tomatin Distillery stows this traditional Scotch whisky in Bourbon and Virgin Oak casks to create sweet and fruity aromas with a hint of spice to cleanse the palate.
The Tomatin 30-Year-Old Single Malt is one of the distilleries’ most popular worldwide, it’s creamy vanilla and tropical fruity flavours mixed with white chocolate and honey aromas make it a must-try whisky when visiting this historic distillery. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled when heading to nearby Aviemore as you will cross through the Slochd Summit, the stone face within the summit wall is a hugely popular and tricky site to spot.
Founded in 1824, the Macallan Distillery was one of the first to be legally licensed in Scotland and since then has gone from strength to strength with the new state-of-the-art Macallan visitor centre opening in 2018. They house the smallest stills in Speyside which allows their whisky to develop full, fruity flavours as the spirit is in maximum close contact with the copper. The Macallan Distillery takes great pride in traditional techniques and values blending with futuristic ideas to create their rich flavourful Scotch whisky.
Matured in sherry oak casks, the Macallan 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch whisky is rich in flavour and produced to an exceptionally high standard. Full of dark, intense spices and a delicious fruity aroma this whisky has a complex character that leaves a smooth aftertaste on the palate. Before leaving this incredible distillery to continue your Speyside Whisky Tour, take the chance to admire the vast landscape and surroundings like Linn Falls and Ben Aigan that are only a short journey away.
Get In Touch!
With all the incredible whisky out there just waiting to be sampled, why not make it easier on yourself and arrange a whisky tour with us. Get in touch with our friendly team to learn more about attractions, what is included in our tours and why touring in our luxury 8-seater minibus gives you the best experience possible. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on +44(0)7828 154 683.