No trip to Scotland would be complete without a visit (or two..) to a local whiskey distillery. The name ‘whisky’ originated from the Gaelic ‘uisge beatha’, or ‘usquebaugh’, meaning ‘water of life’.
The earliest record of whisky distilling in Scotland was in 1494 with enough malted barley to produce 1,500 bottles, which was then refined and improved over hundreds of years.
Here’s our pick of distillery’s which are well worth adding into your next NC500 itinerary.
1) Old Pulteney Distillery – Caithness
The ‘Maritime malt’, created on the most northerly shores of Scotland, in the town of Wick.
Explore a wide range of whiskies from award winning, definitive single malts to critically acclaimed limited edition releases. With traditional warehouses exposed to the North Sea air, Old Pulteney captures the taste of the sea in every drop.
2) Talisker – Carbost, Isle of Skye
Set on the shores of Loch carport, Talisker is the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye, you can taste the salty tang in these 34 years old whiskies. Choose from the Talisker Cask Tasting where you can experience 4 unique and exclusive drams, 3 of which are hand drawn from the casks in the warehouse or pick the Flavours of Talisker tour, an introduction with one of the experienced guides.
3) Highland Park Distillery – Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
One of Scotlands northernmost distilleries and one of Scotlands finest.
Founded in Orkney, tried and tested, they have made their whisky the same way for over 220 years and won numerous awards for its peat-heavy spirits. The peat is hand-cut from the ancient landscape of Hobbister Peat Moor over 9000 years old shovel by shovel and then dried naturally and burned in ancient kilns, where its heathery aromatic smoke infuses the malting barley.
4) Glenmorangie Distillery – Tain
One of Scotlands best whiskey’s, the distillery offers unique in-depth tours and tasting masterclasses and if you enjoy your time there a little too much, theres also the chance to stay overnight at the nearby Glenmorangie House.
5) Dalmore Distillery – Inverness
Located just 45 minutes from Inverness city, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, The Dalmore Distillery prides itself on an unbroken chain of brilliant, visionary and influential craftsmen.
A pioneer of the art of cask curation, Master Distiller Richard Paterson has been the creative force behind The Dalmore for nearly five decades.