Go to a distillery! What could a whiskey distillery possibly offer me? Especially when I need to find it somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. These whiskey distilleries are said to be located throughout Scotland, not just in the Highlands but also in the Lowlands. Learn the best info about Macallan Diamond Jubilee.
On rare occasions, I’ll have a double whiskey with one block of ice. I have more than one. To be sure, when I get such a treat, I thoroughly enjoy it. However, I’d never thought much about how whiskey was made or its history until now. Did you know that Scotland has over 180 whiskey distilleries? This alone indicates that there must be a lot of history on the subject. Before I begin, can anyone tell me why we spell whiskey like this whiskey, and Americans spell it with an E whiskey???
I am not an expert on whiskey production or tasting. However, even with my limited knowledge of whiskey, I could taste the differences between distilleries. This validates each distillery’s claim to its product’s uniqueness. I have, however, developed a strong interest in the history and methods used to create fine whiskies of all varieties.
I traveled 1470 kilometers in total to visit 34 whiskey distilleries in Scotland. My journey took me from the Lowlands to the Highlands and east to west. It was an honor to be able to embark on this journey. The drive from one distillery to the next was a pleasure because it took us through such a beautiful country. I photographed the distilleries I visited as a photographer would. Looking through the rest of my website, you’ll notice that many of these photos have been turned into full-color drink coasters.
Any photographer traveling through Scotland from distillery to distillery will undoubtedly encounter numerous opportunities to capture breathtaking landscape photography. In addition, if you are interested in history, there are multiple opportunities to photograph historic sites in the small villages you will pass through. I’ve stayed in several Bed and Breakfast establishments across Scotland and have never been disappointed.
They always provide great value. However, I recommend that you call ahead and reserve a room. By doing so, you can determine the price and ensure that they are open, as some of these establishments are only open during the summer.
Some distilleries are not open to the public. Some are open all year, while others are only open during certain months. Inquire with the local tourist information service in the distillery’s vicinity. Many larger producers have websites that provide all the necessary information.
During my visit, it was clear that the staff was incredibly proud of their distillery, its processes, and its history. However, when I asked one of them a simple question, “How old is this distillery,” it was clear that they were not. The lady then proceeded to tell me not only the answer but also how it all started. A guided tour for a small fee is frequently available.
These tours are well worth it because you can see the distillery in action. The guides will always answer any questions. After completing one guided tour, I hesitated to pay to do another in a different distillery because I assumed they would all be the same. I tried another guided tour, and it was well worth it. They are certainly not all the same.
What I didn’t realize was that each one has its own set of secrets. Although the basic processes for producing whisky are very similar, each distillery is distinct in layout, smell, and overall presentation. They are proud of their accomplishments, such as that their water source is the cleanest in the world or that their whiskey has a distinct flavor because the oak vats are left outside to absorb sea air when unused. I know of the Edradour Distillery, which claims to be Scotland’s smallest distillery. I also discovered that many of the oak vats used are imported from the United States.
The distilleries also have small shops where you can buy their wares. Some of them have exhibits available for viewing by visitors. I discovered a museum dedicated to producing whisky in a small village called Dufftown. Despite its small size, the museum’s content was fascinating. Several distilleries I visited also had restaurants where you could sit and eat a light meal. Some of the prices are a little high, but I believe you’re paying for the convenience of having a restaurant in a whiskey distillery.
Some of the distilleries are old, which explains why many buildings have an antique appearance. For example, Robert Haig established his distillery in 1627, according to records. They are, however, well-kept and spotless. I enjoyed walking around on the guided tours, taking in the unique smells, and imagining what it must have been like to work in the distillery two or three hundred years ago when operating conditions and health and safety practices were not considered. It must have been a difficult job back then.
I had to turn around and go back home all too soon. I learned that visiting Scotland’s distilleries takes at least two months. So now I’m studying, thinking about the old whisky distilleries, each with its personality. The drive from distillery to distillery, the wonderful people I met, and the fascinating places I saw made it all worthwhile.
All Rights Reserved, John Reunert, 2007.
I plan to travel, write, and photograph Scotland’s various cultural and historical aspects while living quietly in a small village just outside Edinburgh, Scotland. I am new to writing articles and am currently enrolled in a correspondence course at a college. One day, I hope to have a collection of articles to go with my photographs and be able to publish a book about this beautiful country.