Scotland is famous for its national drink: whisky. If you’re a fan of whisky and really want to experience it in its home of origin, you should plan a visit to Scotland.
If it’s a real love of yours, the only way to really receive a true whisky education is to go on a whisky trail. Alternatively, if you’re touring round Scotland, participating in a whisky trail is a great way to experience Scotland’s national drink and get a taste of Scottish life.
We take a look at whisky tours and trails in the Highlands and islands of Scotland.
A whisky trail is a tour round various distilleries and points of interest in relation to the production and distribution of whisky. It allows you to try whisky at its point of origin and really get a good understanding of how a bottle of whisky comes into being.
Yet it isn’t just a tour, hopping from distillery to distillery although these are the focal points of your trip, a good tour makes the getting between the distilleries an experience in and of itself. A good whisky tour allows you to truly experience the landscape, allowing you to see how whisky fits into the rich cultural masterpiece that is Scotland.
A Real Taste for Whisky
For a true puritan, whisky is not satisfactory unless it is a single malt straight from the Highlands and islands of Scotland. Although this may seem a little snobby, there is some merit in this view.
The rich culture and history of Scotland’s whisky industry provides a guarantee that you will get the best whisky that can be found. Where better to try it than at its source?
Whisky, sometimes referred to as the water of life, has a rich history. Over 500 years it has developed and evolved, meaning that today there are a wide range of single malts, pure malts and distinctive blends each with their own unique character and flavour. Taking a tour not only means you get to try the drink at its best, but you get to try all the different types of whisky, developing a refined taste for the spirit in general.
Indeed, there is a marked difference between whiskies from separate distilleries, for example whisky from barley grown inland will undoubtedly taste a little different to barley harvested closer to the coast. Which you prefer is a matter of opinion, yet by trying both you can develop an informed preference and better enjoy your whisky choices in the future.
It’s Not Just Distilleries
As mentioned before, a whisky tour isn’t just about the distilleries. Rather a whisky tour is a diverse experience, allowing you to see and do many things along the way.
History and Heritage
Alongside the distilleries, a good whisky tour will include a couple of stops at museums and visitors’ centres; these can really educate you about the whiskies that you will be sampling. You can find out about the people who are responsible for the whisky you are drinking and discover more about life based around the industry, which helps you appreciate the drink all the more.
Many whisky tours will also include a stop at the Speyside Cooperage, the only operational cooperage in the UK (a cooper is a barrel-maker). Here you can see how whisky is stored and transported, and although logistics might not seem the most thrilling topic, whisky barrels have a rich history of their own and you will get to see first-hand how they are made.
In addition to everything whisky-related, these tours include stop-offs at some of Scotland’s finest hotels. At the end of the day, once you’re all whiskied out, you’ll find a warm welcome and a cosy stay awaits you. Not only do the hotels offer the finest in Scottish hospitality, but should you still be in the mood for it, they are always dutifully stocked up on good supplies of whisky too.
Last, but certainly not least, a whisky trail really shows off the Scottish countryside. Some would argue that the views and scenery to be seen on a tour are what really make them worthwhile. This isn’t to belittle the whisky side of things, but when you couple it with the breath-taking and stunning vistas, coastal views and landscapes along with the ancient castles and churches, a whisky trail really is an experience not to be missed.
A whisky trail is one of the best means of discovering the countryside and really getting a true flavour for Scotland. It’s so much more than just tasting the different types of whiskies and will be an experience to remember even if you aren’t a true-blue whisky enthusiast. But rest assured, whether you are a whisky fan or not, a whisky tour will be heaven for you.
Why not have a look at our Whisky Tour and enjoy a stress free holiday.