Where to enjoy a dram in the North of Scotland?

As the world gradually begins to re-open, our minds are turning to all those beautiful attractions we have been unable to visit over the last few months. So with whisky up there with Sean Connery as one of Scotland’s greatest exports, it seemed a fitting start to look at the whisky distilleries on our doorstep here in the Scottish Highlands.

Whether you are just looking to make a purchase in the distillery shop, you want to learn more about scotch whisky at a whisky tasting, or if you want the full whisky distillery tour, we have got you covered.

The newly re-opened Clynelish Distillery and Johnnie Walker’s new ‘Highland Home’ underwent a huge refurbishment as part of Diageo’s £185m investment in its whisky visitor attractions across Scotland.

The visitor centre has had a high-tech makeover, telling the story of Clynelish through an interactive, multi-sensory experience with secret rooms and hidden keys that unlock elements of the whisky’s history, tales of the local people, its landscape and culture. However, the most important bit has to be the brand new Coastal Tasting Room, where visitors can look out over the sea and sample whisky flights and local tasting platters!
Clynelish was founded in 1819, a few miles from Brora by the Marquis of Stafford and cost £750 to build. In 1967 a second distillery was opened next door to the first. For a while, they were run together, as Clynelish A and Clynelish B, before deciding to make the distinction between the two sites. So Clynelish stayed in the new premises, while the old Distillery became known as Brora.
Thankfully Brora Distillery has not been forgotten in this new chapter and has also seen a complete renovation; the 202-year-old Brora stillhouse was taken down and rebuilt stone-by-stone precisely as it was when new in 1819, but now fit for another two centuries of production.

Brora can produce 800,000 litres of spirit each year and will welcome visitors in small numbers on a by-appointment basis. Visits to the Distillery will include tastings of rare Brora releases, including a new distillery exclusive bottling only available at Brora’s newly restored home: The Brora Distillery Collection: Hidden Beneath, a Brora 1982 39 Year Old.

Clynelish and Brora are the closest distilleries to Dunrobin Cottages, so why not book one of our local taxis and really enjoy your whisky experience. Better still, continue your tasting experience back at home in front of the fire.

Clynelish Distillery Johnnie Walker Diageo

Glenmorangie needs very little introduction, renowned globally as one of Scotland’s best whiskies. Founded by farmers William and Anna Matheson in 1843, to this day, the Distillery can be found on the same spot!

The Tarlogie Springs, Glenmorangie’s water source and most prized asset, is the product of rain that has been forcing its way through layers of limestone and sandstone for a hundred years. These natural minerals give it its ‘hard’ water qualities and give Glenmorangie a raw ingredient unique amongst Highland distilleries.

At present, the Glenmorangie distillery tours are still not open, but in the meantime, you can pre-book one of their tasting experiences:

The Classic Tasting
An introduction to the core range, including three of the most famous whiskies: Glenmorangie Original, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban & Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or.

The Innovator Tasting
A more in-depth exploration into Glenmorangie, The Innovator includes four of our most prized expressions: Glenmorangie Original, Glenmorangie 18 Years Old, Glenmorangie Ealanta & Glenmorangie Signet.

Found in 1790, Balblair is one of the oldest distilleries in the Scottish highlands and has been quietly producing award-winning whisky ever since; it is also the setting for the whisky inspired movie ‘The Angel’s Share’!

Right on the distillery doorstep, you will find the Clach Biorach, a four-thousand-year-old standing stone. Archaeologists believe it to be part of a prehistoric working calendar. On it, you will find a Pictish carving of a Z-rod, which is said to represent the passage of time.

Although not fully open to the public as yet, the Distillery is currently offering a limited guided masterclass which allows you to experience Balblair’s core collection and be immersed in their history as you enjoy a dram mere steps from where it was crafted.

These world-famous distilleries are reason alone to come and stay at our Highland self-catering accommodation, and we can think of a fair few other compelling reasons as well so please check our availability or get in touch.