26th May 2021
Whisky, Scotch, or the “water of life” according to the Scotch Whisky Association, is a world famous Scottish export. No trip to Scotland is complete without a tour of a Scottish whisky distillery, and Aberdeenshire has some of the best distilleries on offer.
The distilleries listed below are all in the Speyside and Highland whisky areas of Scotland, and like wine, the region matters because it impacts the whisky’s flavour.
We give you your own Aberdeenshire whisky tour, listing the most famous distilleries, most of which offer distillery tours to book into on your next Scottish hotel break.
GlenDronach have been in the whisky distilling game since 1826. They are famous for their heavy and robust single malts that are aged in sherry casks, for a unique flavour.
Go on a distillery tour in their Aberdeenshire distillery and learn about sherry casks, with a tutored tasting session.
How to find the GlenDronach whisky distillery:
The GlenDronach Distillery
Forgue By Huntly
Around since 1824, Fettercairn’s Aberdeenshire distillery is located in the foothills of the Cairngorms, a Scottish mountain range and the UK’s largest national park.
Take a tour of this distillery to learn about the crystal clear mountain water they use, and the innovative copper cooling ring technique they invented for their stills many decades ago.
Although just south of Aberdeenshire, this distillery is well worth a visit.
How to find the Fettercairn whisky distillery:
The Glen Garioch distillery was founded over 200 years ago in 1797.
Their Highland malt comes in a range of vintages, and with an eventful history, this will certainly be an interesting distillery tour.
The Glen Garioch distillery is only a short drive from our partner Inverurie hotel Thainstone House, the perfect accommodation on your Scotland whisky tour.
How to find the Glen Garioch whisky distillery:
Glen Garioch Distillery
Founded in 1845 just one mile from Balmoral Castle and a favourite of Queen Victoria, The Royal Lochnager distillery is also just a short drive from our partner inn in Ballater The Deeside Inn, named after Royal Deeside, the area around the River Dee.
Ballater is a Victorian village, and is located in the Cairngorms National Park, one of Scotland’s most scenic spots.
How to find the Royal Lochnager whisky distillery:
Royal Lochnagar Distillery
Established in 1894 the Knockdhu distillery is the home of anCnoc, pronounced "a-nock".
Made from the springs found in the Knock estate, anCnoc are known for their light and modern whiskys.
How to find the Knockdhu whisky distillery:
There are many whisky distilleries that are just over the Aberdeenshire county border, but still have the Aberdeenshire postcode, and are well worth finding.
Despite them being in Moray, they come highly recommended to anyone looking for whisky distillery tours in the North East of Scotland.
These distilleries are mostly from the area known as Speyside, the area around the River Spey, famous the world-over for some of the best-selling Scottish whiskys.
Founded in 1887, Glenfiddich is, according to Scotch Whisky, the best selling scotch malt whisky in the world.
With a visitor centre, exhibition, whisky bar and café all at the distillery, you could make a day out of this distillery tour.
How to find the Glenfiddich whisky distillery:
The Glenfiddich Distillery
Founded in 1822, The Glenlivet needs no introduction.
According to their website, the whisky was distilled in the remote Vilet valley springs to avoid Customs Officers, but King George IV drank an illegal dram on a royal visit in 1822.
With a wide range of distillery tours and whisky tasting options, coupled with its fascinating history, this is surely worth a visit on any Scotland holiday.
How to find the Glenlivet whisky distillery:
The Glenlivet Distillery
Founded in 1824, The Macallan is well known for its exceptional oak casks, which they say determine up to 80% of flavour and character.
They run a variety of tours of their distillery in the Speyside area, with whisky tasting, food and drink to boot, making their tours a perfect day out.
How to find the Macallan whisky distillery:
Built in 1892, The Balvenie distillery is quite unique. They are the only distillery in Scotland that still grows its own barley.
The distillery has adapted to modern times, offering a “virtual live distillery experience” with a delivered home tasting set. No matter what happens or where you are, you can still have a Scottish distillery tour!
How to find the Balvenie whisky distillery:
The Balvenie Distillery
Founded in 1869 by John Smith, a former manager of Macallan and Glenlivet distilleries. It’s no wonder he is thought to be the most experienced distiller of his time.
With a range of distillery tours, as well as tutored nosing and tasting options, you’re sure to learn a lot about Scottish whisky here.
How to find Cragganmore Whisky Distillery:
Make sure you have something to eat before your whisky tasting by booking a Scotland dinner, bed and breakfast deal at one of our hotels into your travel itinerary, or alternatively, learn more about the Aberdeenshire and Speyside whisky trails here.