The Malt Whisky Trail, Speyside, Scotland
Take a road trip around the world’s only Malt Whisky Trail in Scotland’s Speyside whisky region and see the amber nectar being made from barrel to bottle. Discover seven unique working distilleries, one historic distillery and the only working cooperage in the UK.
Speyside is home to more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries. Its Malt Whisky Trail is a dream road trip for whisky-lovers who come from all over the world to indulge in unique whisky experiences and tasting sessions as they tour the region.
- Tour Speyside’s whisky distilleries
- Visit the UK’s only cooperage
- Taste malt whisky
- Walk the Speyside Way
Follow The Malt Whisky Trail
Of the five whisky regions in Scotland (Speyside, Highland, Lowland, Campbeltown and Islay), Speyside produces the most whisky. Whether you’re a whisky connoisseur or you’re tasting your first wee dram on your travels, following the Malt Whisky Trail is a wonderful way to learn about ‘the water of life’ and the art of whisky creation. When you need a break from whisky tasting, there are plenty of other things to do in the area too. The historic capital of Speyside is Elgin on the south coast of the Moray Firth with its lovely ruined cathedral.
Taste Malt Whisky
Whiskies from the Speyside region are said to be elegant and complex. They are united by a ‘distinct fruitiness, ranging from ripe pears to sultanas, while some possess a refined smokiness’.
Benromach Distillery – Speyside’s smallest working distillery and the first in the world to produce a fully-certified organic single malt.
Cardu – the only malt distillery pioneered by a woman.
Glenfiddich Distillery – the distillery produced its first spirit on Christmas Day 1887.
Glen Grant Distillery – the only Scotch whisky distillery that bears the name of its founding owners, the Grant brothers.
Glen Moray Distillery – located in the beautiful town of Elgin. You’ll smell a sweet honey-like aroma around the distillery as the Glen Moray Single Malt has a sweet and smooth character.
Strathisla Distillery – the oldest distillery in the Highlands and the spiritual home of the world-famous blended whisky Chivas Regal.
Speyside Cooperage – the only working cooperage in the UK where you can witness the ancient art of creating whisky barrels using tools and traditional methods and even have a go at making your own mini-cask.
- Visit in early May for the famous Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival with its opening dinner, Whisky School and music
- Visit the shop at the Walkers factory in Aberlour to taste their world famous shortbread and rich fruit cakes
- Visit Gordon Castle near Fochabers which makes it own gin using herbs from its gardens
- In late June watch some of Europe’s best pipe bands at Forres and see Scotland’s only Tattie Scone competition
- Active foodies will enjoy walking or cycling along the gorgeous Speyside Way
Hotels on the Malt Whisky Trail
The Boath House Hotel in Nairn – a luxury hotel on the Moray Firth Coast set in parkland. Dine in the hotel’s restaurant or enjoy Afternoon Tea on the terrace. The hotel is just a 20 mile drive from Inverness Airport.
Craigellachie Hotel of Speyside in Craigellachie – a lovely hotel with 28 rooms. The bar has over 700 whiskies and tasting sessions are available. Great for salmon fishing and dog-friendly too.
Cairngorm Hotel in Aviemore – a independently-owned and friendly 3 star hotel with 30 comfortable rooms. Its location in the centre of Aviemore makes it an ideal base for exploring the region.
Cardu Country House in Aberlour – a gorgeous Bed & Breakfast (winner of Best Guest House in the Highlands) in 2012.
The Thistle Du B&B in Glenlivet – a Bed & Breakfast with 3 smart and spacious rooms with views of the surrounding mountains
The Antlers in Auldearn – an immaculate self-catering holiday cottage, sleeps 6.
A good trip for me. You’ll need to check with each distillery but walking the Speyside Way sounds good.