2022 Favourite Whisky Distillery?

Thanks to my wonderful customers I had many opportunities to visit a variety of whisky distilleries this season. Scotland may be a small country but it boosts five distinct whisky regions: Speyside, Highland, Lowland, Islay and Campbeltown. My personal favourite has been Islay and still is. Over recent years the number of whisky distilleries have considerably increased, either by re-opening a formerly mothballed place (Rosebank for example) or creating something new.

The Lowlands have quite a number of new ventures. In my own region, Fife, we have Daftmill, who have just a released a stunning 15 year old, Lindores Abbey, Edenmill, Kingsbarns to just name a few.

The Highlands also contributed considerably with Adelphi in Ardnachmurchan, Torabhaig, Glenwyvis and NcNean. The latter being my personal favourite of the newcomers, though I admire Daftmill and hold great respects for Lindores too. In the end this is obviously down to personal taste nothing less nothing more.

NcNean Whisky Distillery officially holds B-corb status

Despite taste the distillery experience is very important to me so that my customers can enjoy themselves while visiting.

Most of the distilleries really do make an effort to make you feel welcome and some provide additional services such as pairing your whisky with chocolate, like Glendronach, or food pairing (Lindores). Others add on their beautifully maintained gardens such as GlenGrant.

Glendronach whisky/chocolate pairing
GlenGrant Gardens
GlenGrant Distilleries

Like everything else Covid changed the way distillery tours needed to be booked and reduced the numbers of people who could attend. Over the 2022 season gradually things did return to almost normal. Some distilleries remain difficult to access, MacAllan was certainly one of those. Smaller ones such as Aberlour it simply took a little longer to book. Others, such as Edradour, Glencadam and Fettercairn did not open to the public. The latter two are open to visitors again.

MacAllan’s new purpose-built distillery
Glenfarclas famous tasting room

Glenfarclas, GlenAllachie and Glenfiddich have made great efforts to accommodate my customers. GlenAllachie is highly recommended for Billy Walker’s special releases.

Aberlour Whisky Distillery
Glenfiddich Shop
Glenfiddich famous female rest room
GlenAllachie Distillery

Islay’s most welcoming distilleries for me were in this order Bunnhabhain, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Kilchoman, Bowmore, Ardbeg. Bruichladdich tours were a bit dissappointing.

Bunnahabhain Whisky Distillery
Laphroaig Whisky Distillery
Ardbeg Distillery

Caol Ila was being renovated, Port Ellen not yet open and I failed to visit Ardnahoe.

I always love to come to Campbeltown as all three whisky distilleries are extremely welcoming. Springbank, Kilkerran and the Cadenhead Warehouse Tour are all in the same location and if you can book a manager’s tour with Iain McAlister at GlenScotia I very highly recommend.

Iain McAlister at GlenScotia
Springbank Tasting Room

The Diageo distilleries generally provide good experiences and I have been enjoying Dalwhinnie in particular. One evening I pulled up to provide my clients with a wee dram at a nice location as the place was closed. The distillery manager happened to walk by with his dog and made it an unforgetable experience for my guests.

The Isle of Skye’s two distilleries: Talisker, Torabhaig and next door Rassaay are fabulous places and produce gorgeous whisky but I never made it there this season.

There is one distillery, Dallas Dhu, which is only a museum.

There are roughly 150 distilleries in Scotland, so clearly too many to mention them all.

Other experiences are available. There are a number of really enjoyable whisky shops, bars and whisky experiences:

The Snug

Johnnie Walkers in Prince’s Street Edinburgh provides avery American experience:

Johnne Walker Prince’s Street

I hope this little indiv idual overview is something you have enjoyed. Let me know what you think.

GlenScotia Warehouse
Starfish Travel’ s whisky tour pack
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