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The 10 Best Scottish Whisky Distilleries to Visit All Year Round

Posted on 8 Nov 2023

What would a visit to the birthplace of Scotch be without sampling a wee dram or two? But how do you navigate the vast array of Scottish whisky distilleries this country is proud to house? Look no further. We have categorised the best whisky distilleries you can visit in Scotland all year round, allowing you to focus on what's really important: deciding which bottle you want to take home with you from a tour.

Within this article:

Scottish Whisky Distilleries - 10 Of the Best to Visit on a Tour

Joining a Scottish whisky tour can be the best way to experience the liquid gold, lovingly crafted for centuries in Scotland. With over 140 malt and grain distilleries calling Scotland their home, your options are not limited. However it's always best to remember that out of season (November - April) some of the best distilleries may be closed or have restricted times. Our guide highlights our top 10 Scotch distilleries that we personally visit on our range of Scotland tours all year round. Which one will you decide to visit with us first?

Cardhu Distillery

Region: Speyside
Founded: 1824
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Speyside Whisky Trail 1 Day Tour From Aberdeen

Successfully run by two generations of pioneering women, Cardhu Distillery in the Speyside region was one of the first legal whisky distilleries in this area. Now known internationally as a world leading single malt provider, the distillery's history actually starts with it being previously named ‘Cardow’. It wasn’t until 1981 that the distillery was renamed to match its product. Uncover more about the history of this legendary producer when on a small-group tour. The small details are what matter most to us, so we’re sure to quench your thirst for knowledge.


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Lindores Abbey Distillery

Region: Lowlands
Founded: 1494
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Whisky & Castles 2 Day Tour From Edinburgh

An abbey, religious monks, and historic monarchs. Not your typical back story to a present day Scottish whisky distillery, but it’s true. Dating back as early as 1494, Lindores Abbey Distillery has links to the earliest written reference of Scotch whisky, once known as ‘Aqua Vitae’. Combining tradition with more modern methods, and attention to their sustainability practices, is how we know and love the distiller today. Sip and appreciate each element within this unique blend, with friends, family, or on a solo travel tour. It's with careful consideration to the holistic whisky distillery practice that allows each flavour to be appreciated in every sip.

Glen Moray Distillery

Region: Speyside
Founded: 1897
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: A Whisky Journey: Drams & Distilleries 1 Day Tour From Inverness

Small and authentic, the Glen Moray Distillery enchants its guests who are touring the Speyside whisky region. Taking you in detail through the six steps of their craft, you could leave with a new sense of skill and appreciation for the art of distilling whisky. What makes this particular Speyside distiller one of the best in Scotland is their authentic methods and passion for what they do. Because when you love what you do, it shines through to your guests and that affection hums within the group, leaving them wanting more.

Dalwhinnie Distillery

Region: Highlands
Founded: 1897
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Speyside Whisky Trail 3 Day Tour From Edinburgh

Located in the heart of the Highlands, Dalwhinnie Distillery is a remote producer, providing what they like to call ‘the gentle spirit’. Although, from the extreme weather conditions they battle, the process of formulating the liquid gold is anything but gentle. Sourcing the water from a loch at 2,000 feet, to being made in the highest and coldest distillery in Scotland, doing things by half measures are not found in this vicinity. You might consider touring during autumn or maybe exploring while on your winter travels? It’s always best to check opening times or weather restrictions due to the remote, but accessible location.

Glengoyne Distillery

Region: Highlands
Founded: 1833
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Discover Malt Whisky 1 Day Tour From Edinburgh

Proudly standing on Glasgow's doorstep, Glengoyne Distillery is a family-owned producer, who distils their malt whisky slower than others. Taking the time to appreciate the complex structure and flavours, the team nurses the whisky into what we can taste today. And why not try it for yourself? Join the family when you depart on a tour from Edinburgh and let your taste buds do the talking. This is one family reunion you don’t want to miss.


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Clydeside Distillery

Region: Lowlands
Founded: 2017
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Whisky & Loch Lomond 1 Day Tour From Glasgow

Celebrating Glasgow’s dockside heritage and the roots of Scotch whisky, Clydeside Distillery produces a delicate Lowland style spirit. Touring from the centre of Glasgow, you can tick this best Scottish distillery off your list, while finding a new appreciation of the region. As a fairly new contender compared to the rest of our list, it’s no less worthy of having a space in the top 10. Infact, Clydeside is proud to be producing Glasgow’s first single malt whisky in over a century. Uncover more history behind this producer and learn of their full circle moments when booking a whisky tour.

Tomatin Distillery

Region: Highlands
Founded: 1897
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Cairngorms National Park & Whisky 1 Day Tour from Inverness

Just 16 miles south of Inverness lies our next best whisky distillery in Scotland, Tomatin Distillery. Located within the beautiful Scottish Highlands, Tomatin dates back generations and makes a toast to the very landscape which surrounds it. Proudly producing high-quality single malt and blended Scotch whisky, their traditional methods date back to the 1500s. But that's not where the history lesson finishes, discover the depths of this whisky by participating on a tour from Inverness.

Deanston Distillery

Region: Highlands
Founded: 1965
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Discover Malt Whisky 1 Day Tour From Edinburgh

Honouring its success to the powerful River Teith, Deanston Distillery is not your average whisky producer. What makes it one of the best in Scotland is the strong sense of community, locally sourced ingredients, and its ethical upbringing. So much so, once powering its whole whisky distillery, offices, coffee bothy, and visitor centre, they have 75% of their electricity (river-powered turbines) to sell back to the National Grid. Join us for a Scottish one day tour from Edinburgh and be a part of the action yourself.

Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery

Region: Highlands
Founded: 1896
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Highland Lochs, Glens & Whisky 1 Day Tour From Edinburgh

Nestled in the foot of the Scottish Highlands is another strong contender for the best whisky distillery in Scotland. Continuing with their heritage, Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery uses the same practices once established by the founding family, but now they mature the spirit elsewhere in Scotland. The secret to this whisky’s smoothness? Double ageing, with a secondary resting in oak barrels. Walk through the process and gain a feel for what it's like to be a whisky distiller when touring the vicinity.


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Speyside Cooperage

Region: Speyside
Founded: 1947
Featured Rabbie’s Tour: Speyside Whisky Trail 3 Day Tour From Edinburgh

While not strictly a whisky distillery, Speyside Cooperage is an interesting whisky barrel manufacturer that any fan of the spirit can enjoy. Joining a Scottish three day tour from Edinburgh, guests can experience the expertise needed to hone this craft, while learning the importance of the relationship between the cask and its contents. It’s also fascinating to watch first hand how the coopers’s attention to detail is poured over every stage of the process.

Where is the Best Whisky Area in Scotland?

Speyside is often considered the best whisky area of Scotland, and a factor to that may be due to its size. As the largest of the five whisky regions, the area of Speyside houses nearly half of all Scotland’s whisky distilleries. Fans of the liquid gold will find themselves right at home in this region.

Scotland is proud to provide five top whisky regions:

  • Speyside
  • Islay
  • Highlands
  • Lowlands
  • Campbeltown

Enjoy a Wee Dram With Rabbie’s Tours

With the best whisky distilleries in Scotland found, all that's left to do is find your seat on one of our comfortable mini-coaches. Having one of our expert driver-guides behind the wheel, you can sit back and enjoy the flavours on offer with no arguments as to who is driving home. So whether you’re a beginner connoisseur looking to expand their palette, or a seasoned whisky enthusiast, a tour within Scotland’s five whisky regions can be the best experience for all.

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