Benromach, Cardhu and Glenfiddich Distilleries.
If you have ever thought about an interesting walk to do through the heart of Scotland’s Whisky world then the original Scottish Whisky Trail through Speyside is definatley the one for you. With 7 malt whisky distilleries on route, this is one that a whisky lover cannot afford to miss. Each of the distilleries have their own traditions which have been followed over centuries which gives every malt whisky a unique taste, something that is unprecedented anywhere else in the World. To have more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky’s in such a small area is down to the fresh and flowing water of the River Spey, the main artery which flows from north to south feeding each distillery on its way.
Depending on when you visit there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with the “water of life” , best is visiting during weekends in May and September as there are an abundance of Whisky festivals in most villages along the route, there is also Whisky tasting or ceilidhs plus other well represented parties in pubs along the way to give you a real insight into how important Whisky is to the local community.
I have highlighted 3 distilleries that I feel have something special to say about the Malt Whisky makings in Scotland.
To start off with Benromach Distillery, which is situated on the outskirts of Forres, was nearly lost over the last century but has emerged into a single malt whisky which has a specific taste which you shall for ever remember from this totally hand made malt whisky. Whilst visiting the distillery you can view the time served distillers create a wonderful Whisky that your taste buds shall never forget. The distillery has a nice welcoming visitors centre with Whisky tasting possibilities, the guided tours are done by the distillery manager himself, which includes tasting and viewing the museum where you can also hand fill your own bottle of Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Next along the walk is the Cardhu Distillery which was born in the early 19 century by John Cumming who was then arrested on 3 different occasions for distilling whisky without permission from the English government, as the story goes his wife Helen carried on the practice of distilling whilst John was paying the whisky penalty. The whisky stayed in the family for nearly 100 years where it was then sold onto J Walker and sons from Kilmarnock who still run the distilling business today.
They welcome you today for a guided tour finishing with a dram of 12 year old Cardhu malt Whisky, entrance is £5 and lasts for approx 45 mins.
Glenfiddich Malt whisky is probably the best known Whisky maker from the Spey valley, now nearly over 130 years in the making and still in the hands of the same family they still produce an exceptional Malt Whisky that is loved across all the continents of the World. They still use the same water source which is supplied from the Robbie Dhu springs. They have different tours for set up, from the interested visitor which lasts approx 1 hour to the Whisky connoisseur’s half day Pioneer’s tour, where you can bottle your own malt, an excellent choice.
As you can gather the Speyside Whisky’s have rightful ownership to probably the best tasting Whisky’s in the world, probably the crystal clear water of the Spey and surrounding springs plus a generation of distilling skills make this area a must for the Whisky lover.