1. Strathisla Distillery
This Speyside distillery was established in 1786, making it the oldest distillery in the Scottish Highlands. Chivas Regal is distilled here. Chivas Brothers have recently opened a new distillery visitor centre with a lovely little bar, store and a unique tasting room right next door to the beautiful distillery.
2. Blair Athol
This Pitlochry-based distillery is something else! Covered in vines that change colour along with the season, and with its location in a picturesque town, it is no surprise over 80,000 people visit it each year. Blair Athol is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland and it can be documented back to 1798.
3. Dalmunach Distillery
From the oldest to one of the most recent (and most contemporary) distilleries… This Speyside distillery is not currently open to visitors, which is a shame as it is a stunner! The huge glass windows showcasing their lovely stills, the building was designed to complement the surrounding landscape, and this state-of-the-art distillery plays a significant role in reducing Chivas Brothers’ environmental footprint. In 2015 they won the Sustainability Award at the Drinks Business Green Awards. Read more about Dalmunach in my previous article about Whisky and the Environment.
4. Lindores Abbey Distillery
Lindores Abbey is a new single malt distillery built in the grounds of a former abbey. They have plans to reinstate the heritage orchards and extensive gardens, which dates back to the 12th century. There is so much history in and around this distillery. Even if the distillery is newly built, distilling took place on the site at least as early as 1494!
5. Lagavulin Distillery
If you’ve been to Islay you probably know that all the distilleries around the island are stunning in their own way, located by the sea, with the most beautiful scenery. So it was hard for me to choose one to add to this list. However, looking thought my photos from my visit to Lagavulin, I felt the surroundings of the distillery are just so incredible, and their unusual pear-shaped stills are very special. Learn more about the history of Lagavulin by checking out my previous article The Whisky Battle – Laphroaig vs Lagavulin.
6. Hendrick’s Distillery
Hah! It’s not all about whisky (although unfortunately, it does seem that most gin distilleries are never going to make it into the beauty list…). Hendrick’s Gin Distillery (better known as Gin Palace) in Girvan overlooks the volcanic island of Ailsa Craig. The new distillery is surrounded by a walled garden where you will find a Victorian-style palm house that holds two new still houses, a lecture theatre, a stunning bar and two botanical houses where the master distiller, Lesley Gracie, will experiment with unusual botanicals from around the world.
7. The Clydeside Distillery
This new Glasgow-based distillery has combined new and old in its distillery design. The distillery is within the old Pump House building (built in 1877), which was once a controlled entry into the Glasgow Queen’s Dock.
8. Edradour Distillery
Edradour distillery dates back to 1825, and here you can still see the unique production methods used hundreds of years ago. The single malt whisky is produced by hand (no computers are attached to any equipment) in the smallest traditional stills in Scotland, housed in their original farm building. Many of the unique features are the last in Scotland. Edradour means ‘between two rivers’ in Scottish Gaelic.
Can you think of any other Scottish distilleries I should add to this list?