5 Of The Best Whisky Distilleries Near Inverness
Inverness is a great place to visit for any whisky lover, read on for 5 of the best Whisky distilleries near Inverness. After all, it’s situated within convenient reach of two distinct whisky regions: Speyside and Highlands. Both of them produce their own distinct drams. Highland whiskies are known for diverse, full-bodied whiskies with notes like smoke, fruit cake and dried fruit. Meanwhile, Speyside whiskies are known to be sweeter and very light on peat, with notes like vanilla, apple and nutmeg.
With a good number of both Highland and Speyside distilleries within easy reach of Inverness, your holiday to the unofficial capital of the Highlands is a great chance to sample some of the best whiskies Scotland has to offer. Without further ado, here are five of the best whisky distilleries you can visit near Inverness.
Glen Ord Distillery, Black Isle
Famous for their Singleton of Glen Ord whisky, this distillery, founded in 1838, is the only producer of single malt whisky in Black Isle. They export their aged single malt whisky exclusively to the South Asian market, meaning the easiest way to buy Glen Ord whisky in Europe is at the distillery. Apart from single malt whiskies, the majority of the whisky produced here is used in blends like Johnnie Walker and Dewar’s.
The distillery offers a variety of tours for all tastes. These fully-guided tours are known for being highly informative and engaging and offering a chance to sample a few different whiskies to help you develop your palate. Located just a 20-minute drive from Inverness, the Black Isle peninsula is well worth a visit. It’s known for beautiful fishing villages by the sea as well as some great chances for dolphin-spotting.
Tomatin Distillery, Tomatin
Located 16 miles south of Inverness, this Highland whisky distillery has been operational since 1897. Today, it produces whisky mainly for blended drams, including their own brands Talisman and Antiquary. Tomatin whiskies are known for a soft character with notes of fruit.
Tours of the distillery let you sample some of Tomatin’s single malt and blended whiskies as well as giving you a chance to bottle your own straight from the cask. As the distillery is just a 25-minute drive from Inverness, it makes for a good option for those travelling without a car as you could travel to the visitor centre by taxi. For those travelling to Inverness by car on the A9, visiting the distillery on your way to or from the city is also an option, as this is just a 3-minute detour.
Dalwhinnie Distillery, Dalwhinnie
This Highland whisky distillery produces a world-famous single malt dram known for its notes of heather honey, citrus and vanilla. With its magnificent mountain views over the Cairngorm National Park, this distillery sits at the highest altitude in Scotland at 355m above sea level.
The Dalwhinnie distillery tour will teach you about the art of distilling and at the end of your tour, you can sample two different whiskies expertly paired with chocolates. Your guide will also give you suggestions for food pairings with whisky. You’ll also get to take home a Dalwhinnie whisky glass for free.
Located 55 miles from Inverness, a visit to this distillery can be combined with a visit to the Cairngorm National Park, offering a variety of outdoor activities. You could also visit the distillery on your way to or from Inverness if you’re taking the A9 – this is just a 4-minute detour.
Dallas Dhu, Forres
This distillery is different from the rest on this list because it’s no longer operational: after producing whisky from 1899 to 1983, this Speyside distillery now acts as a museum. During your visit, your complimentary audio guide will take you through how whisky was made throughout the 1900s, from the steam engines that powered the distillery until the 1950s to the kilns where barley was dried over a lightly peated fire.
You’ll also have a chance to take part in a fact-finding quiz and your tour will end with a chance to sample a free dram of whisky. Located 28 miles outside of Inverness, a visit to Dallas Dhu could be combined with a visit to the nearby Brodie Castle or the eco-village of Findhorn for a memorable day trip.
Cardhu Distillery, Aberlour
Alongside single malt drams, the whiskies produced at this distillery are also a key component in award-winning Johnnie Walker blends. Located in the heart of Speyside, this distillery was founded in 1811 by a husband and wife team. The wife, Helen Cumming, is said to have distilled the first gallon of the Cardhu whisky, making it the only malt Scotch whisky pioneered by a woman.
Tours of this distillery go deep into the history of the place and afterwards, you can visit the gift shop or relax with a dram of their exceptionally smooth and mellow whisky. The distillery is located 43 miles from Inverness and you could combine your tour with a visit to the nearby Ballindalloch Castle.
Whisky experiences and accommodation in Inverness
For a whisky lover, no visit to the Highlands would be complete without a whisky tasting experience. If you don’t fancy leaving the city or want to wow your friends with your whisky knowledge after a distillery tour, there are several ways to buy and enjoy some delectable drams in Inverness.
The Malt Room is Inverness’ first whisky bar, with a menu that spans all six Scottish whisky regions as well as a selection of bourbon and rye whiskies. The Whisky Shop gives you a chance to do some shopping based on your newfound knowledge and get some gifts for family and friends.
You can also enjoy a good number of drams at the Palace Hotel Brasserie and Bar! The Palace Hotel offers comfortable and stylish accommodation conveniently located in the heart of Inverness. Located on the bank of the River Ness, opposite Inverness Castle, the Palace Hotel makes for an ideal base for discovering the whiskies of the area. Call us on 01463 22 32 43 or send us an email to #bookdirect!