The Speyside Whisky region is centred around the River Spey. At 109 miles long, it is the fastest flowing river in Scotland (not to mention one of the great salmon rivers). It’s this river and its tributaries that form the heart of the Speyside region. Speyside is home to almost half of all the Scottish distilleries. These include the big names of Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Macallan, as well as lesser known distilleries such as Craigellachie and Ballindalloch. And although castles, gardens, walking, the beautiful landscape and fishing are some of the reasons for many tourists to visit Speyside. The whisky and the many distilleries, however, are one of the main reasons why people travel to this part of Scotland.
The good folk at Scottish Routes created a tour that has a great balance between tours, experiences and tastings at each distillery. They want to be a little different from their competitors. Their whisky tour is one that is designed by and for people passionate about whisky. As it’s for the malt enthusiasts, they decided to make this tour all about the whisky with a side of sightseeing, rather than the other way round. You can’t ignore the beautiful scenery of the Grampian Mountains as you travel between distilleries and they will always stop for those instagram moments.
Scottish Routes have pulled a few strings here and there to give you the best experience possible and there are certainly a few drams that you won’t get to try anywhere else in the world. For instance, how about a private connoisseur’s tour and tasting at Glenfarclas. This distillery has been in the hands of the same family – the Grants- since 1865 and is one of the last family run distilleries in Scotland. They’re onto the 5th and 6th generation now.
They have also organised a private tour and tasting at The Glenlivet too. Recently they hit a new record selling over 12million bottles worldwide. Something it’s founder George Smith (the first person to be awarded a legal licence to make whisky in 1824) would have only dreamt of. Also included is a tasting at Strathisla and a tour plus drams at Glendronach (We highly recommend the 15 year old). This, along with Tomatin (where there is a behind the scenes tour and very special tasting) are Highland distilleries, but it seemed a shame not to include them when they create such lovely expressions.
Scottish Routes creates memories that will last a lifetime. Having a great dram is as much about your surroundings as the whisky in your glass. They want you to go home, pour a dram and instantly be transported back to the atmospheric warehouses and tasting rooms, surrounded by your fellow guests and the riverside locations soaking up the views of our beautiful country. The Speyside tour doesn’t just visit the big names. Included are visits to the smaller, independent places too. This includes Kingsbarns Distillery in Fife. It’s just over a year old and they’ve only filled about 700 casks so far.
The folk at Scottish Routes love what they do and their tours are both insightful and fun. The guides are passionate about exploring Scotland with you and will always share their knowledge and enthusiasm, plus some great stories! Between them, they have over 30 years of experience in the industry, and a vast whisky collection (more than a few hundred bottles!) The guides have all completed a whisky training course that gives Scottish Routes a certificate of expertise that is recognised by The Scotch Whisky Industry, plus have completed various levels of driver training so you are definitely in safe and knowledgeable hands.
Your accommodation is included in the cost of your tour, as are the distillery tours and tastings. This means, apart from lunches and dinners you do not have to dip your hand into your pocket every 5 minutes. The highly recommended tour departs on a Thursday from Edinburgh, returning on Sunday evening and is priced from £599 per person. More details about the tour and how to book can be found at: www.scottishroutes.com