The Best Distilleries in Scotland

Scotland is one of the world’s foremost producers of whisky and has been dominating the world of malt liquor since the distillation process was introduced to the country in the 15th century. Since then, the pure water of the Highlands has been used to produce some of the most incredible whisky in the world.

Recently, distilleries across the country have become known not only for their incredible aged whiskies, but also their gins. A 2008 EU regulation loosened restrictions on who could produce gin, and ever since then, distilleries all over Scotland have released their own batches of craft gin. It’s a profitable business to undertake while you wait for your whisky to age.

Here are some of the best gin and whisky distilleries that you can visit in Scotland.

Lagavulin

Lagavulin whisky is produced on the Isle of Islay, which is just off the coast of western Scotland, and is known for their astounding array of distilleries. Lagavulin is one of the oldest on the island. It was officially opened in 1816, although records show at least 10 illegal distilleries operating on the island as early as 1742.

They’re only open for tours in the summer, so you’ll have to plan your visit carefully, but once you arrive, there are plenty of options. The basic tour only costs £6, and you’ll get a dram to sip as you spend an hour walking around their scenic property.

The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet distillery produces many bottles that are sold in North America, so there’s a much higher chance you’ve sampled some of their wares before. If you haven’t, you’ll probably want to sign up for one of their longer tours. On their Legacy Tasting Tour, you can sample a rare dram drawn straight from the cask, as well as some of their traditional offerings.

The Glenlivet distillery is located in the middle of Scotland, just southeast of Inverness — which is considered the gateway to the Highlands. You’ll need a car to get there, but the drive either south from Inverness or north from Glasgow or Edinburgh is stunning.

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