Spey Valley’s Whisky Country:
If there’s one thing that Scotland has a lot of, it’s whisky distilleries and this country also has the only Malt Whisky Trail in the world.
To make good whisky requires pure spring water, good supplies of golden barley and peat and good whisky distilleries are usually found in pristine environments that have those supplies. The Spey Valley is one such region and a unique trail of world famous and distinctive malt distilleries are dotted amongst its woods and glens.
On the Speyside Whisky Trail, visitors will come across more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries, each one with their own whisky-making traditions, recipes and art of blending. So on distillery tours, visitors will be able to sample handcrafted whiskies and get an insight into the styles of each of these producers.
Follow the signposts, or your nose, on Scotland’s whisky trail which will lead you through the picturesque countryside and Scotland’s favourite malt whisky region. Not all distilleries are open to the public, but the eight that are open on the trail include:
- Benromach - the smallest working distillery in Speyside
- Cardhu - the only malt distillery pioneered by a woman
- Dallas Dhu – this historic distillery has been operating since 1898
- Glenfiddich and Glenlivet - internationally famous brand names
- Glen Grant
- Glen Moray
- Strathisla - A historic and ancient distillery that’s been operating since 1786. Strathisla is the spiritual home of one of the most famous whisky brands in the world – Chivas Regal.
Speyside Cooperage, the only working cooperage in the U.K. is also on this trail and here you can learn about the ancient craft of coopering.
May and September are whisky festival time in Speyside and distilleries and entire villages welcome visitors with drams. All the whisky shops, bars and pubs are well stocked with Scotland’s national drink and whisky lovers will be able to enjoy a range of handcrafted whisky brands and learn more about Scotland’s water of life.
If you’re flying in, coming by sea or rail, Aberdeen is the gateway to the area. For more information about Highland Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail and how to get there, visit www.maltwhiskytrail.com.Your Turn: Do you have any advice you would like to share? What tips would you like to add? Please comment below.