Speyside Whisky Connoisseur Tour
4 day/3 night tour
From Edinburgh travel through the Highlands to reach Grantown on Spey in the heart of “Whisky Country” for a three-night stay. Accompanied by your expert driver/guide this tour will give the whisky enthusiast behind-the-scenes access to some of Scotland’s finest distilleries including Royal Lochnagar, Glenfarclas and Strathisla. As well as tutored tastings during your distillery tours you’ll get to meet the expert distillers who carefully create some of Scotland’s most treasured whiskies.
Price range: £635 - £720
Small Group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Kingsbarns Distillery - enjoy a tour and tasting at this brand new distillery
Royal Lochnagar Distillery - participate in the famous warehouse experience and tutored tasting
Speyside Cooperage - watch the skilled workers create and repair the barrels used to store whisky
Aberlour Distillery - join a whisky specialist for the “Casks from the Past” tasting
Movie Locations - The Angels’ Share, Centurion and Quest for Fire
Guest house accommodation included
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Royal Deeside - Grantown on Spey
Join your fellow passengers for a four day whisky adventure. Leaving Edinburgh behind we travel over the Firth of Forth enjoying the views of the Forth Road and Rail bridges along the way. Soon we enter the Kingdom of Fife and make our way to the East Neuk to visit one of Scotland’s newest distilleries. Kingsbarns is located on the Cambo Estate where the 18th Century Farm Buildings have been converted to create a charming distillery. We’ll enjoy a tour of this attractive distillery as well as a tasting.
Next we cross the River Tay and make our way through Dundee and into the fruit-growing region of Angus. We’ll make a stop in the pleasant market town of Blairgowrie where we can enjoy lunch and go for a stroll. This afternoon we make our way through Glen Shee, a popular winter sports venue, to reach Royal Deeside. Located close to Balmoral Castle lies Royal Lochnagar Distillery where we will stop to experience a tour of their warehouse which includes whisky tasting straight from the cask!
The last part of our journey today takes us over the famous Lecht Pass to the highest village in the Highlands, Tomintoul. From here we make our way to the attractive town of Grantown on Spey, our home for the next 3 nights.
Overnight: Grantown on Spey (3 nights)
Day 2 - Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich and Aberlour Excursion
Today we tour through the Cairngorm National Park and along the winding banks of the River Spey to reach Glenfarclas Distillery, one of the few family owned distilleries left in Scotland. On arrival enjoy a VIP tour and tasting.
Next we’ll travel to nearby Knockandoo Woolmill, where fabric has been hand-woven for over 200 years. It’s a great place to buy a souvenir as well as enjoying morning coffee and some tasty home-baking.
The town of Craigellachie is where the Rivers Spey and Fiddich meet. We’ll make a stop so you can see the famous iron bridge that spans the River Spey. It was built by the famous engineer Thomas Telford and completed in 1815. Also located here is the Speyside Cooperage where rare skills of a cooper, the craftsmen who make and repair whisky barrels, flourish. It makes for a fascinating visit.
Next we’ll stop at Glenfiddich Distillery where you enjoy lunch in the restaurant accompanied by a wee dram, if you wish. Later we make our last stop of the day at Aberlour Distillery where a very special tasting awaits.
Day 3 - Glenlivet, Glendronach and Starthisla Excursion
After a relaxed breakfast we make our way to The Glenlivet Distillery which sits in a wild and remote glen. The distillery has a fascinating history as we will discover during our private tour. Enjoy a special tasting and time in the distillery shop before we take to the road again for the short journey along backroads to reach Glendronach Distillery, which has been producing whisky since 1826. On arrival we’ll have the chance to explore the distillery then enjoy a tasting of three exceptional malts.
We’ll enjoy time for lunch in the pleasant town of Keith before making our third distillery visit to pretty Strathisla Distillery, one of the oldest in Scotland. The water used to make the whisky here is drawn from a local spring which, according to local legend, is haunted.
We’ll make an early return to Grantown on Spey so you can relax in your Highland surroundings.
Day 4 - Grantown on Spey - Dunkeld - Edinburgh
We have a leisurely start today as we make our way to the little village of Carrbridge where we’ll see the 298 year old packhorse bridge. Next we head to Tomatin Distillery for our last distillery visit of the trip. Here we’ll get a rare behind the scenes tour and an amazing single cask nosing and tasting.
Aviemore is a thriving outdoor sports centre so we’ll take a break here for lunch in the shadow of the Cairngorm Mountains.
Sadly we leave Speyside and all those lovely distilleries behind, but there is much more to enjoy. Our scenic drive continues through the Cairngorm National Park then our descent through the Drumochter Pass. We’ll make a stop in the attractive village of Dunkeld which straddles the River Tay. There is time to explore the town or take a walk by the river during our time here. The last part of our journey sees us crossing from the Highlands into the Lowlands and returning back to Edinburgh.
Due to various reasons (weather, closures and special events) it may not always be possible to visit all distilleries mentioned. Please be aware that, if this is the case, we will ensure that suitable alternatives are found.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Connoisseur Tour?
For the discerning whisky enthusiast these special tours will immerse you in the traditions and heritage of whisky making. With unique behind-the-scenes access at some of Scotland’s most distinctive distilleries you’ll get the chance to learn the age-old methods of production from experienced whisky makers followed by tutored nosings and tastings. Each tour is led by a professional driver/guide, who has been chosen for their enthusiasm, driving skills and knowledge. This specialist tour is limited to a small group of just 16 whisky fans. Comfortable guest house accommodation featuring en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price. A wonderful Scottish breakfast will be served each morning of your stay. Admission fees and tastings are included in the price.
Tell me about my accommodation and which type of room should I choose?
The cost of accommodation in a comfortable guest house/B&B is included in the cost of your tour. The guesthouses and B&Bs are family run and offer comfortable accommodation in bedrooms that have en-suite bathrooms, tv, tea/coffee making facilities and other amenities. Bedding, towels and basic toiletries are provided. Some guesthouses and B&Bs offer enhanced facilities such as a resident’s lounge where you can relax with other guests. Accommodation is spread throughout the communities that we stay in and the guesthouses/B&Bs are seldom more than a 10/15 minute walk from the town or village centre. The coach will drop you off at or close to your accommodation each night and will pick you up in the morning, after breakfast.
Tell me what the visit to a whisky distillery will be like?
A visit to a traditional whisky distillery is a feast for all the senses. After a warm welcome you’ll normally have a short audio/visual presentation on the the history of the distillery and the traditional methods used in the distilling process. Next is a tour of the distillery where you you will experience all stages of the whisky making process from mashing and fermenting to distilling and maturation. Your tour will end with a tutored tasting of a malt whisky and the opportunity to buy a souvenir of your visit in the distillery shop.
How much luggage can I bring?
Luggage space on the tour is restricted so the amount of luggage that you can bring is limited to 1 bag per person that weights no more than 15kg and has maximum dimensions of 55 x 40 x 20cm. Luggage larger than this will only be carried if space is available.
What meals are included ?
A full Scottish breakfast is included from day 2 onwards. This hearty meal consists of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and, maybe, a taste of haggis! plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and lighter Continental options are always available. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Your driver/guide will be happy to suggest a conveniently located restaurant where you can enjoy good food for dinner.
· 3 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
· Location: Grantown-on-Spey (3)
· Scottish/Continental breakfast (3)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
· Tour and tastings at Kingsbarns Distillery, Glenfarclas Distillery, Glenlivet Distillery, Glendronach Distillery and Tomatin Distillery
· Royal Lochnagar Distillery Warehouse Experience
· “Casks from the Past” tasting at Aberlour Distillery
· Visit to Speyside Cooperage and Strathisla Distillery
· Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach
· Live commentary in English
· Services of an experienced driver/guide
· Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From 1 Parliament Square
Royal Mile/High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Check-in: 07:45 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 18:00 hrs
We are sorry but children aged under 18 years cannot travel on this tour.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom.
Distillery visits and tastings are included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.