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Best Whiskey & Scotch Distilleries with Tours

Whisky and Scotch aficionados, rejoice! If you’ve ever dreamed of wandering through golden fields of barley, breathing in the earthy scent of ageing casks, and savouring the rich tapestry of flavours offered by a masterfully crafted spirit, then this blog is your gateway to a pleasant time. Welcome to our exploration of the ‘Best Whisky and Scotch Distilleries with Tours’, where we’ll guide you through the hallowed halls of the world’s most renowned distilleries.

Embarking on a distillery tour is more than just an opportunity to taste exceptional spirits; it’s a journey through history, culture, and the delicate art of distillation that has been perfected over centuries. From the rugged highlands of Scotland, where the mist whispers secrets of ancient craft, to the rolling green pastures of Ireland and the innovative frontiers of American whisky production, each distillery has a story to tell.

In this blog, we’ll share with you the distilleries that not only produce exemplary whisky and scotch but also offer immersive tours that promise to enchant the senses. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or a curious newcomer with a budding passion for these amber elixirs, our curated list will unveil the magic behind the world’s finest spirits. So, pour yourself a dram, settle in, and let us take you on a tour of discovery to the places where the heart of whisky beats the strongest.


Scotland is famous for its whisky culture, making its distilleries an enticing draw. Nearly every restaurant, pub, hotel, and tourist attraction offers whisky tastings to customers; you’ll find everything from full-fledged visitor centres with cafes and museums to humble tasting rooms offering just a small tasting room or two. Many distilleries also provide tours that combine great whisky with historic sights for an unforgettable experience.

Fettercairn Distillery in Laurencekirk, Kincardineshire, is a small distillery with unique production principles that define its single malt whisky production. Utilising pure mountain water and stills equipped with cooling rings to increase the distillation rate Furthermore, they approach traditional casking methods differently for their whiskies, which gives their spirits their distinctive character.

This Fettercairn was aged first in an ex-bourbon hogshead before finishing in a Pedro Ximenez cask for ultimate complexity and fruit aromas. The result is an elegant whisky with plenty of sweetness and fruit flavors; a  creamy mouthfeel with notes of vanilla custard, pickled cherries, and Werther’s original candy are just some of the notes present here.

This single malt is an ideal option if you prefer something lighter in terms of strength. Though relatively unknown, its delicious flavours make up for its lack of recognition from consumers and current ownership by Diageo; its smooth yet gentle whisky boasts notes of tropical fruits, golden barley, and vanilla for a delightful experience.


Whisky is Scotland’s national drink and can be found almost everywhere, from cafes, restaurants, and pubs to distilleries offering tours with opportunities for tasting at the end. Whisky lovers are in for a treat, as many distilleries offer tours that allow visitors to observe all stages of the production process, including some that include an opportunity for sampling afterward.

Bigger distilleries in Scotland often provide tours tailored specifically for individuals; Edradour offers one still, making it often considered Scotland’s smallest traditional whisky distillery. Here, you can choose between tours like the Traditional Distillery Tour and the Chivas Blending Experience.

Kildalton Distilleries of Islay are home to some of the world’s most peaty single malt whiskies. The Kildalton Distilleries on Islay’s east side are a convenient addition to visitors’ tours of this alluring island.

Signatory Distillery provides a full selection of single malts as well as several special bottlings available only at their distillery or select outlets. While their classic 10-year-old is un-chill filtered and aged in both sherry and bourbon casks, making Caledonia unique among 12-year-old whiskies aged by Signatory Distillery. Since acquiring Edradour under Signatory’s owner Andrew Symington’s ownership, his focus on wood management diversity has only increased exponentially!


If you’re visiting Scotland, make time for some of its many whisky distilleries. Most offer tours and tastings; book early as these tours tend to fill quickly! Depending on your schedule and social distancing restrictions, you may choose more than one distillery to visit!

Glengoyne is an ideal way to begin your Scottish whisky adventure. Situated just north of Glasgow and easily accessible via car, this village also serves as an airport stopover and quick pit stop.

This distillery is well known for taking an artisanal approach to producing whisky. Their use of small mash tuns and Oregon pine washbacks, as well as forgoing peat in their whisky-making process, gives their whisky its distinct taste and aroma.

Glengoyne produces single-malt whiskies from various regions across Scotland. Their flagship whisky, the Glengoyne Highland Reserve, aged 8 years and boasting rich, smooth flavours, is an absolute must-try for whisky enthusiasts. Be sure to pair your tasting experience with truffles from Iain Burnett a world-renowned  chocolatier in Highland) to truly elevate the experience!


This distillery offers an informative, free tour that lasts about 45 minutes and includes tasting 12- to 15-year-old “Expression.” If desired, longer tasting tours spanning 2–3 hours are also available at an additional charge.

There is no doubt about it: this distillery is an absolute must for whisky enthusiasts. Set in an idyllic glen in the Eastern Highlands, its building blends old with new. Additionally, its crystal-clear water is famously used to cool its stills (by literally pouring down their sides!). Additionally, it remains one of the few highland malt distilleries that uses new oak casks for maturation purposes, making for an unforgettable visit!

At this distillery, the tour is more interactive than most and features an indoor barley field, making this an excellent opportunity to get away from tourist crowds and truly learn about Scottish whisky!

Though Islay is known for its peaty whiskies, Scotland’s east coast also has its own distinct style. Established by Clan Donald members in 1815, Scotland’s east coast distillery stands out with its flavorful whiskies. Their plush and subtly lit visitor centre provides the ideal place to explore their distillation process, while they also have a restaurant and provide private tours, as well as offering wide selections of single malt scotches! In Scotland, whisky plays an integral role in culture, being consumed during baptisms, funerals, weddings, and special occasions alike.


Laphroaig is an exceptional single malt, boasting medicinal, phenolic, and seaweedy notes in equal measure. This whisky doesn’t shy away from its intense peatiness—you’re bound to taste every drop! While other Islay distilleries such as Lagavulin or Ardbeg may boast greater complexity with an array of flavours, none can match Laphroaig for peatiness intensity.

Established by Donald and Alexander Johnston in 1815, Islay Distillery became the first distillery ever established using this method on Islay. They leased 1,000 acres for cattle grazing before using any leftover barley to craft whisky production; this marked Islay’s inaugural attempt at setting up its own distillery using this approach.

Laphroaig distillery uses a seven-tonne copper pot still, similar to those found elsewhere on Islay. These stills feature stocky bases and tall necks designed to make selecting alcohol and flavour from distillation runs easier; saving portions (known as making cuts) has a significant impact on the final whisky taste.

Due to social distancing restrictions at this writing, booking tours and tastings in advance online is advised due to social distancing regulations. Peak times require booking at least three weeks in advance and group tours can also be reserved, while private tours are also offered for smaller groups.


Ask any Scotch whisky enthusiast about their favourite distillery and Ardbeg is sure to come up with an answer. Situated on Islay, Ardbeg Distillery is known for producing its distinctive single malt whiskies with smokey notes.

Pitlochry’s two distilleries offer an interesting comparison: Blair Athol can mash 80 tonnes per week, while Edradour stands out as Scotland’s smallest, with its whitewashed buildings looking more like cottages than distilleries.

Ardbeg Distillery on Islay is world-famous for their peated whisky and enjoys widespread fan support in the hardcore whisky community, but it also has its critics. Their non-chill-filtered, naturally coloured expressions include Ardbeg Ten and other variations ranging from the peatiest to the smoothest whiskies, and this lineup continues today.

Ardbeg distillation differs from that of other Islay malts by employing an unusual process: stirring and pumping directly into the still. Once distillate is collected from this step, its spirit is then passed through a “purifier,” an arm attached to a pot still’s conical neck that filters heavy alcohol and contributes to Ardbeg’s characteristic flavour of grassy and minty notes.

Ardbeg Distillery has long been recognised for their experimental releases, such as Supernova. These releases are typically bottled at very high strength with elaborate names and ancient Celtic artistic labelling and then later sold off at auction at exorbitant premium prices. But Ardbeg does offer more mainstream and affordable offerings like Ardbeg An Oa, which acts as an introduction to Islay whisky for newcomers to Islay whisky, maturing in several cask types like Oloroso and Madeira before being redistilled before finally being released back onto shelves again for auction at very premium prices.