Speyside Scotch Whisky Trail – Visiting The World’s Only Malt Whisky Trail
Scotch Whisky Trail In Scotland
For scotch whisky drinkers there should be only one destination to add to your bucket list – the Speyside Scotch Whisky Trail. Located in Northeastern Scotland, along the River Spey, there are distilleries, whisky pubs, and restaurants and cafes preparing quality dishes with local ingredients. In this post, I will share our tips on how to make the most of your time on the world’s only Malt Whisky Trail.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.
Guide To The Malt Whisky Trail
In this post, you will learn the history of Speyside, the home of Scottish malt whisky. We include a list of Speyside distilleries and attractions on the trail as well as additional stops for food and drink travelers. Included is a sample itinerary of how to spend five perfect days in Moray Speyside along with recommended hotels and accommodations.Check out our Scotland Drinks Guide - What To Drink In Scotland
What Is Moray Speyside?
Moray Speyside is located in Northeastern Scotland. It’s about three hours drive north from both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Moray is also sandwiched between Aberdeenshire in the east and the Highlands and Inverness in the west.
At its most northern point, Moray (pronounced like “Murray” in the Scottish accent) includes rugged coastline dotted with fishing villages. The coastline of the Moray Firth gives way to the plains of Moray, where agriculture rules. It’s a landscape dotted with Highland Cows (called coos), loads of sheep, and Belted Galloway cows, which look more like Oreo cookies than cows. Continuing south, Moray reaches into the Cairngorms National Park, where the plains start to inch upwards into characteristic Scottish Highland hills. The national park is home to the largest mountain range in the United Kingdom.
The largest city in Moray Speyside is Elgin, home to only 12,000 or so inhabitants. Villages and towns spread to the west, to the north, and to the south. Many of these villages and towns include one or more scotch whisky distilleries, making the entire region ripe for whisky tourism. This includes the towns of Keith, Dufftown, and Aberlour, which are all well-known to whisky aficionados.
The River Spey runs through them all and empties into the Spey Bay in the North. The water of the Spey is what results in the world-class whisky. The river is also one of the longest in Scotland. Tourists flock to Moray for castle tours, nature, fishing, and golf. For food and drink travelers, though, this is undiscovered territory.
Moray Speyside Food And Drink Pro Tip
The water of the River Spey has attracted many of the top distilleries, including the Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, and The Macallan. Together these distilleries produce some of the best Speyside single malt whisky.
What Is The Speyside Malt Whisky Trail?
There are approximately 100 Scottish whisky distilleries spread across the five whisky regions in Scotland. There are close to 60 Speyside distilleries in this small region, but only about a dozen or so are open to tourists for visits and tastings. Scotland’s Malt Whisky Trail is a collection of distilleries dedicated to promoting whisky tourism. This part of Scotland is considered Malt Whisky Country because it is home to the largest concentration of whisky producers in Scotland.
There are a total of nine stops on the official Malt Whisky Trail, which include working distilleries, a historic distillery, and the Speyside Cooperage. But there is more to the trail than this handful of Scotch distilleries. Not only are there well-known companies and artisan producers, but there are whisky bars and restaurants dedicated to promoting the local food and drink of Moray Speyside.
The Malt Whisky Trail includes the distillers and producers that are characteristic of the region and easily accessible for food and drink travelers. Each of the producers offers whisky distillery tours and tastings. We include more than these nine stops though in our list of Speyside distilleries.Check out our Beginner's Guide to the Scotch Whisky Regions
Speyside Whisky Distilleries With Visitor Centers
In this list, we go beyond the “official” Malt Whisky Trail distillers to include all distillers with visitor centers. We visited a good number of distilleries for tours, VIP experiences, or for tastings, during our 10 day itinerary in Moray Speyside. It’s best to book ahead and reserve your spot. Although a few times we were lucky just showing up, often times people are turned away. This is true particularly on weekends or during the summer.
Tips To Make The Most Of Speyside Distillery Tours
There are a handful of things we learned from our exploration of Moray Speyside. First, there are a few ways to visit a distillery. You can take a tour, which includes a tasting at the end. Many also offer VIP or more advanced tastings. This can include higher-end whisky tastings or unique experiences, like blending your own bottle or doing a chocolate and whisky tasting. Some distilleries also offer bars or cafes where you can do a whisky tasting flight or even just offer a tasting in their shop without a tour.
Any Scotland distillery tour itinerary should include a little bit of each experience. There are only so many distillery tours you can take in one trip, but there are other ways to experience the distilleries. Included on our list are some of the various experiences that are possible to book along the trail.
Moray Speyside Food And Drink Pro Tip
Every Spey distillery takes time each year to shut down, conduct maintenance, and allow its teams some down time. This time is called “silent season.” Sometimes this lasts only a few weeks, other times for longer. Most distilleries will let you know on their website when their silent season is. For many, it’s in July. During this time tours are offered, but the distillery might not be working. To compensate, distilleries might reduce their price or offer additional tastings to make up for it.
The Best Speyside Whisky Tours
Cardhu Distillery in Knockando
I wanted to visit Cardhu for a few reasons. One because it is one of the whiskies I drink at home. Also, it was the only scotch whisky distillery founded by a woman. Now owned by Johnnie Walker, I expected the distillery to be a little sterile and corporate. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It was one of the most historic-feeling distilleries we visited.
Tour Options: Cardhu Distillery offers a basic tour that ends with one tasting for £8. Tours run more or less on the hour. We did their Guess Dhu tour, which is a little longer. It offers a blind tasting experience at the end. They offer three tastings of the six whiskies they produce at Cardhu and you need to guess which is which. I guessed two out of three, which was not bad. The Guess Dhu tour is £12. The Cardhu Collection Tour is £25 and includes a tasting of all six of their single malt whiskies. Learn more here.
Leave an extra few minutes in your scheduled to check out the small farm located near the parking area, where it is possible to spot a few Highland coos.
Strathisla in Keith
The Strathisla Distillery dates to the 1780s, making it one of the oldest on the Speyside distilleries map. It is the symbolic heart of the Chivas brand and one of the single malt whiskies that is used to produce Chivas. Because the distillery is so historic, it is more quaint than others and oozes history. They recently renovated their tasting room to be something spectacular, with the feel of comforting library with exposed stone walls and leather sofas. They also have a small bar where you can do tastings, flights, and even try a Chivas cocktail.
Tour Options: The Strathisla Distillery Tour lasts a little more than an hour and costs £15. It includes three tastings although they were offering four tastings when we visited because it was silent season. Or, the Chivas Cellar Tasting is £40 and involves tasting some aged whiskies right from the cask.
We did the Chivas Blending Experience, which was one of our favorites during our visit to Speyside. They have a stunning blending room where they placed six single malts in front of us (without labels) and we each created a malt whisky blend to take home. The Blending Experience is £60. During our tour we also tasted whiskies from the cask. If short on time, stop by the bar for a whisky tasting flight for only £10. Learn more here.
Glenallachie in Aberlour
One of the newest distilleries to open their doors to visitors, we were one of the early visitors. Although opened in 1967, ownership changed over the years. At various times both Pernod and the Chivas Brothers owned the distillery. In 2017, ownership changed once again and now the distillery is owned by well-known master distiller Billy Walker. The distillery is stunning and tour guides knowledgeable.
Tour Options: The basic distillery tour at Glenallachie is £15, lasts an hour, and included three tastings. Their Connoisseurs Tour is £50, includes a visit to their warehouse, and ends with a tutored tasting of five drams. This was the tour we did and because the weather was surprisingly pleasant they set up our tasting outside, which was unique. Learn more here.
Glenfiddich in Dufftown
The famous drinks family William Grant, along with his family, built The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown in the late 1880s. Many of the whisky distilleries are owned by big companies like Diageo or Pernod. WG Grant & Sons is still family owned but is the third-largest whisky company in the world, which is shocking. They were also one of the first to offer whisky distillery tours in Scotland in the 1960s.
Tour Options: Glenfiddich offers a wide variety of tour options starting at their basic tour for £10. The Spirit of Innovation Tour includes a visit to their bottling hall. This is unique as many distillers bottle in a central location in Scotland and not on site. It costs £25 and is offered three times a day.
The Glenfiddich Solera tour explores one of their most well-known whiskies, the 15 year Solera Vat. This is also our new favorite whisky! This tour costs £50 and is offered twice a day. They also offer a Pioneers Tour, which is four hours long and includes a 200ml bottle that you fill from a cask yourself. This tour is £95 and is offered once a day. We actually visited the Malt Barn, their cafe and bar, and ordered a tasting flight. Flights start around £25 for four drams. Learn more here.
Glenfarclas Distillery in Ballindalloch
Family-owned for six generations, Glenfarclas is located on the road to the Ballindalloch Castle, near Aberlour. One of the more historic-feeling distilleries, particularly with all of the “duty-free” warehouses spread around the property. The tasting room feels like a hunting lodge, with long wooden tables and red leather, high back chairs.
Tour Options: We got lucky with this one and showed up 30 minutes before their last tour of the day and managed to squeeze in. People who showed up just after us were turned away. They have one of the most popular tours so I would recommend booking ahead. Their basic tour is £7.50 and includes two tastings or one driver dram travel bottle. The tasting is not a guided tasting like other tastings we did, but it is also one of the least expensive. They also offer a Connoisseurs Tour for £40 and a Five Decades Tour for £125. Learn more here.
Cragganmore Distillery in Ballindalloch
Cragganmore is also owned by Johnnie Walker and offers a similar experience to Cardhu. At the top of the chain, Diageo owns both Cardhu and Cragganmore so I expected both of the distilleries to have a corporate feel. Instead, they both felt classic and historic. I hope Diageo keeps this setup in the future particularly with other distilleries going very modern. Cragganmore is a little off-the-beaten-path, set on the far side of Ballindalloch Castle, down a winding road through a wee village with bunnies darting across the road. It just felt quaint.
Tour Options: We actually stopped in just for a tasting. It is conducted in their visitor center, not in a bar. It was simple, but it was hosted, with explanations of each of the Cragganmore offerings. You can try just one or all of them. Their basic tour is £12. The Range Tour is £30 and includes a tasting paired with local foods. Learn more here.
The Macallan Distillery
At the opposite end of quaint is The Macallan, which recently opened its doors to a contemporary visitor center that cost upwards of £140 million. Known as one of the most exclusive whisky companies in the world, the visitor center projects this image. It’s an architecturally unique design, with high ceilings and an uber-contemporary feel. Whereas most visitor centers were built around an existing distillery, this distillery was built with visitors in mind.
Tour Options: The Six Pillars Tour lasts 90 minutes, is £15, and includes two tastings. It should definitely be booked ahead of time online. Learn more here.
Speyside Tours Pro Tip
When talking with folks in the industry, the general thought behind this new endeavor with Macallan is that they are not as concerned with typical whisky tourists, but are catering to high net worth individuals who will spend thousands of pounds on whisky during a visit. It is worth it to at least drive by, explore the shop, maybe do a tasting in the bar because this distillery is unlike all others. I do hope the other distilleries don’t follow suit and that they retain their historic feel.
Additional Scotch Whisky Distillers With Visitor Centers
Aberlour Distillery in Aberlour is just at the base of The Dowans Hotel. Their basic tour is £15 for 90 minutes and definitely needs to be booked ahead. We tried booking a few days before and they were filled, mostly with large groups.
Benromach in Forres is one of the two distilleries to visit at the eastern edge of Moray, close to the coast. It’s family-owned and one of the smallest. They recently started producing Red Door Gin as well. Tours are one hour long and cost £8.
Dallas Dhu in Forres is an historic distillery located just across the highway from Benromach making it possible to visit two distilleries back-to-back. They no longer distill whisky but a visit shows how distilleries used to operate. They offer a tour for £6 with an audio guide.
The Glenlivet in Banffshire is located at the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. It takes a good amount of driving down a series of roads that each seem to lead to nowhere before arriving at one of the most remote distilleries in Speyside. They do offer a small cafe and cafeteria. They offer a variety of tours with the most basic costing £12.50.
Glen Grant in Rothes offers tours and tastings that include a visit to a lovely garden. Tours cost £7.50.
The Glen Moray Distillery is the only distillery located within the city of Elgin. They offer a basic tour as well as a whisky and chocolate tasting each Friday. They also offer a tasting flight for only £10 without appointment.
Scottish Distillery Tours Pro Tip
Some distillers won’t allow any photography during their tours. They say it is because of the distilled spirits and the danger due to flash photography. We only booked tours where we could take photos during all or most of the tour. If this is a concern for you, just ask at booking. Minimally, Benromach and The Glenlivet do not allow photos.
Scotland has a zero tolerance policy for drinking and driving. This means a driver shouldn’t drink a single pint of beer or a single dram before driving. As a result, distilleries offer “Driver Drams.” This means that you can take your tastings with you at the end of your tour and enjoy them at your hotel later at night or bring them home with you. This is a great way to encourage drivers to be responsible, particularly because very few Spey whisky distilleries are walking distance from hotels or accommodations.
Distilleries offer different versions of Driver Drams. The Glenfarclas Distillery offered two drams as part of the tasting at the end of the tour. They offered an “airplane” sized bottle of whisky for each driver. At the Glenallachie, they prepared five small bottles for Eric of exactly what we tasted.
Unfortunately, some distillers actually charge extra for driver drams, which I disagree with. It is often only £3-4 for the bottles. But, I don’t think it should cost extra to encourage drivers to be responsible. When making a booking feel free to ask if they offer driver drams if this is a concern for you.
Visiting The Speyside Cooperage
This is one of the most interesting stops on the Malt Whisky Trail and a must-visit even if you don’t have a lot of time in Moray Speyside. A cooperage is a place where barrels are made and you can’t make scotch whisky without the barrels. Their catchphrase is “acorn to cask” and the Cooperage explains the process of producing and refurbishing barrels for use in the region. The cask is what gives the flavor to the whisky and is integral in the production process.
The Speyside Cooperage is located in Dufftown, on the road that leads from the distilleries around Aberlour and those in Dufftown and Keith. They are open from 9:00 am to 4:45 pm Monday Through Friday. The Classic Tour runs every 30 minutes and costs £4. They also have a VIP tour for £30 at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, which includes a whisky tasting with local shortbread. The regular tour visits the viewing gallery but the VIP tour takes visitors onto the shop floor.
Moray Speyside Accommodations
There are a variety of accommodation options in Moray Speyside. There are historic and luxury hotels, B&Bs, inns, cottages, and even beachfront caravan parks. Here are our recommended accommodations located along the whisky trail.
Built in 1893, the Craigellachie Hotel and its 26 rooms feels more like a luxury, countryside family-home than a hotel. Situated at the crossroads of the world’s whisky production region, the Craigellachie Hotel features the Quaich bar and over 900 whiskies lining its walls. Its Copper Dog Pub serves locally sourced traditional and contemporary Scottish dishes for lunch and dinner seven days a week. They are located near the Speyside Cooperage and many of the top distilleries including The Macallan and Cardhu. Rooms have touches of classic decor with with luxury finishes.
The Craigellachie Hotel, Victoria St, Craigellachie, Speyside
Rates from £140 including breakfast, book here
Originally a Victorian mansion, the Dowans Hotel was reborn in 2012 by the Murray family. Now featuring 16 contemporary en-suite rooms, the Dowans Hotel maintains its historic past while providing modern comfort and hospitality. After a day of exploring Speyside, take a relaxing stroll through the ornate terraced gardens before sitting down to a meal in one of their two delicious restaurants: Spé and 57. Both feature locally sourced Scottish meats, fish, and produce. Before calling it a night, tuck into The Still bar and explore the Dowans collection of over 500 Scottish whiskies as well as local Scottish gins. Nearby distilleries include Arbelour, Glenallachie, and Genfarclas.
The Dowans Hotel, Dowans Road, Aberlour
Rates from £170 including breakfast, book here
Dating back to the 1770s, Gordon Castle has been a fixture on the landscape of Speyside and part of its history. Featuring five charming cottages spread across the estate, Gordon Castle is a unique and relaxing holiday experience. Available year round, the cottages sleep between two and eight guests. All cottages are self catering and equipped with all the comforts of home.
Gordon Castle Cottages, Gordon Castle Gordon Castle Estate, Fochabers
Rates from £135 with no breakfast (self catering), book on Airbnb but save €30 if you’re trying Airbnb for the first time with this link.
Beginning life in 1812 as a country villa, Knockomie Hotel has transformed over the years into a 15 room hotel and gastro destination. Owned and operated by Gavin and Penny Ellis, Knockomie Hotel is ideally located to explore the Speyside region. Dining at Knockomie allows guests to enjoy delicious traditional and contemporary Scottish dishes. With its focus on all things local, Knockomie has over 70 whiskies available as well as a wide range of locally distilled gins. Nearby distilleries include Benromach and Dallas Dhu.
Knockomie Hotel, Grantown Road, Forres
Rates from £135 including breakfast, book here
Ardgye House B&B is a cosy and comfortable stay five minutes from the center of Elgin in the heart of Speyside. Originally built in 1904, this Edwardian mansion sits on 150 acres of land. Twin, King and Family rooms are available. Aside from breakfast, no other dining options are available. Nearby distilleries include Glen Moray, Benromach, and Dallas Dhu.
Ardgye B&B, Ardgye Guest House, Elgin
Rates from £79 including breakfast, book here
West Beach Caravan Park is a family run, beachfront park providing holiday vans, glamping, motorhomes, caravans, and tents. On site facilities include free showers, coin laundry, and dishwashing stations. “Dory” the double decker bus is an onsite food truck serving up locally sourced Scottish dishes. The park is open from May until the end of October. Nearby distilleries include Glen Moray, Benromach, and Dallas Dhu.
West Beach Caravan Park, West Beach, Hopeman
Rates: Caravan rental prices begin at £500 per week, book hereGet the Best Rates for Accommodations in Moray here
Other Things To Do In Moray Speyside (When Not Eating And Drinking)
As much as we travel on our stomachs, there’s no way to spend all day, every day eating and drinking – no matter how hard we try. In fact, many travelers visit Moray for attractions that have nothing to do with food or whisky.
What To Do On The Whisky Trail
In Elgin, visit the Elgin Cathedral, which dates from 1224. Elgin is also home to one of the most well-known Scottish cashmere producers, Johnstons of Elgin. Their visitor center helps to teach travelers about how cashmere is made. Nearby in Fochabers, visit Gordon Castle and its stunning walled garden. It’s filled with lavender during the summer.
The Moray Coast Trail includes about 50 miles of coastline, which can be traversed on foot over several days. Or, take a drive from Findhorn in the west to Cullen in the east. There are cliffs and sandy beaches in little pockets along the way. Towards the east is Bow Fiddle Rock in the small town of Portknockie. Sometimes you can even spot dolphins playing just off the coast. The rivers Spey, Findhorn, Avon, and Livet are home to various types of Scottish salmon and trout – perfect for fishing excursions.
Castles On The Whisky Trail
There are a series of historic, Scottish castles that dot the landscape as well. The most well-preserved is Ballindalloch Castle, which is home to the 24th generation of the Macpherson-Grant family. You can walk the grounds, explore the house, or enjoy afternoon tea in their tearoom. It makes the perfect pitstop during an afternoon of visiting some of the best distilleries in Scotland – several are only a handful of miles away.
Just near the Glenfiddich and Balvenie Distilleries in Dufftown is Balvenie Castle. It is one of the oldest stone castles in Scotland, dating to the 1200s. Near Elgin, Duffus Castle is an example of ancient “motte and bailey” castles. This type of castle was common during the 1100s and 1200s consisting of wooden buildings on man-made mountains of ground.
A 5-Day Malt Whisky Trail Itinerary
We spent 10 days exploring the region, but we travel pretty slow. Many travelers to Speyside stop in at one distillery, either on their own or on a bus tour, and move on. That’s a big mistake!
Everyone we met in Moray Speyside was fabulously friendly and everything we ate was fresh and tasty. Well worth more time. If you golf or fish, this itinerary could easily be extended into a week or more. A five day trip can be added onto a visit to Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Island of Skye, or the Highlands to make the perfect 7 or 10 day Scottish itinerary.
Included above in this post are recommended accommodations across the region. If staying at any one of them, it’s possible to visit the entire region easily. Nothing is more than a 30-45 minute drive from anything else. Or, pick two hotels to base yourselves out of during the stay.
Day 1 – Craigellachie And Aberlour
Morning: Start the day with a basic tasting tour at Cardhu, The Macallan, or Aberlour. This will give you an overview of the distilling process. Cardhu is very traditional and was one of our favorite tours. The Macallan is quite fancy and contemporary. Aberlour is an historic distillery, but we were not able to visit.
Lunch: The Station Hotel in Rothes is just up the road in the direction of Elgin. Their Toots Cafe and Bar serves upscale versions of classic Scottish dishes. Try the haggis bon bons!
Afternoon: Visit the Speyside Cooperage. I think it helps to have visited one distillery before visiting the Cooperage to learn about the barrel-making process. It helps to put things into perspective.
Evening: Enjoy dinner at the Copper Dog in Craigellachie, a casual Scottish pub with great food and a selection of local craft beers, including Spey Valley Brewery. After, visit the Quaich bar upstairs and try a dram or two of local whisky.
Day 1 Tips: If looking for a midday snack, try the SA Mackie Butcher in Aberlour and try one of their fresh and warm meat pies. Also in Aberlour is the Walkers Shortbread factory store, which is worth a stop for food souvenirs. Look for their ginger cookies and shortbread in the shape of a Highland coo.
Day 2: Fochabers, Elgin, And The Coast
Morning: Book another basic tour at Aberlour or Glen Grant in Rothes, then head up to the Gordon Castle Walled Garden. If it’s nice weather, walk the garden, and pop in for tea at their cafe. Then continue north towards the coast towards Buckie and then head east. Stop for photos at Bow-Fiddle Rock and continue to Cullen.
Afternoon: There are a few options here. See about stopping in at Byres Farm in Fochabers for a bit of farm tourism. Learn about the local livestock industry and how they grow barley for the Glenlivet distillery. Or, pop into Elgin and hit the Elgin Cathedral, Johnson’s of Elgin, and visit the historic Gordon & MacPhail shop.
Dinner: For a casual dinner, head back in the direction of Fochabers and visit the Fochabers Fish Bar. A super casual takeaway who won the Scotland’s number one fish and chip takeaway in 2017.
Day 3 – Keith and Dufftown
Morning: Start the day with a drive out to the Glenrinnes Estate, east of Keith and enjoy a visit to Eight Lands Distillery. This is a break in the Scottish Whisky Trail for a little gin and vodka. Eight Lands is a women-led distillery of organic gin and vodka, with stunning views even from the distillery floor.
Lunch: Pop into Keith for lunch at Square Roots Cafe, which serves up burgers, toasted sandwiches, soups, and even local craft beer. Try the Keith Lager, a local craft beer.
Afternoon: Book one of the VIP experiences at Strathisla, a historic distillery on the Malt Whisky Trail. Strathisla is the symbolic heart of the Chivas company. Try their Whisky Blending Experience and take home a small bottle of your own malt whisky blend. Afterwards, continue heading south to Dufftown and enjoy a tasting flight at the world-famous Glenfiddich Distillery. Nearby is also The Balvenie as well as Balvenie Castle.
Dinner: While in Dufftown, visit Seven Stills, a well-known whisky bar with a French chef whipping up interesting versions of traditional Scottish dishes. They offer a wide selection of daily specials that change with the seasons.
Day 3 Tip: While visiting Glenfiddich or The Balvenie, check out the small farm across from the Balvenie castle. Check the land behind the house to find the famous Highland cows, the hairy coos.
Day 4: Ballindalloch
Lunch: The Glenlivet has a small cafeteria for a light lunch or snacks. Or make your way to Ballindalloch Castle, which has a cafe and tearoom serving up sandwiches for a light lunch. There is not a lot on offer for lunch in this area, so take a look at these options and figure out how far away you will be. In the end, even heading back towards Aberlour or Craigellachie is not too far out of the way.
Afternoon: Head to Ballindalloch Castle to explore the castle gardens and the interior rooms. Ballindalloch also has its own, newer distillery for a tasting, or Cragganmore Distillery is nearby.
Dinner: Head towards Aberlour to dine at The Dowans Hotel. They offer two options, Spé and 57, as well as a stellar selection of Speyside gins and tons of options for Speyside whisky tasting.
Day 5 – Forres And The Coast
Morning: There are a variety of ways to spend a morning in and around Forres at the western edge of Moray Speyside. Visit the Benromach or Dallas Dhu distilleries. Also near by is the Maclean Highland Bakery for a light snack or some food souvenir shopping of shortbread and Scottish oatcakes. Just a two minute drive from Maclean’s is Speyside Brewery, a young craft beer producer happy to do a tour and tasting. Also nearby is Logie Steading, and old farming estate during food and cultural destination, just south of Forres.
Lunch: Make your way to the coast and check out Findhorn and then Burghead. Stop at The Bothy Bistro in Burghead for lunch, enjoying some local Scottish seafood.
Afternoon: Continue the drive along the coast. Perhaps stop at Windswept Brewery in Lossiemouth for a local craft beer tasting before winding down towards Elgin. If looking to squeeze in one final distillery, Glen Moray is located within Elgin.
Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the Knockomie Inn for Scottish classics along with craft beer, local gins, and a good selection of the malt whiskies of Scotland.
FAQs - Malt Whisky Trail in Scotland
This is a great question and it depends on the time of year. We created a Scotland Packing Guide, which includes everything you need to prepare for a trip to explore the Scotch trail.
Our packing guide includes information on the weather in Scotland. For food and drink travelers, plan your visit around the Speyside Whisky Festival or the Speyside Gin Experience. They are both organized by the Spirit of Speyside.
This depends on the drinker and their preferences. Check out this guide to the Scottish Whisky Regions to figure out what kind of scotch you like and where it can be found.
Moray Speyside doesn’t have a commercial airport. Occasionally people helicopter in but otherwise Speyside flights arrive at the nearby Inverness airport. The airport is about a one hour drive west of Elgin.
* *We were hosted by the Moray Speyside Tourism Board but all of our views are our own.
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Exploring the Malt Whisky Trail in Scotland
For scotch whisky lovers, Speyside is a bit of a pilgrimage. There is more to to the region, though, than whisky. Moray Speyside is a great food and drink destination. Great pubs, sophisticated cuisine, and passionated food providers interested in showing off the best of the region. It’s a must visit! Cheers!