Episode 17 (Season 2): ‘Whisky Galore’
Let’s park the car, pour ourselves a dram and explore the Malt Whisky Trail in Speyside!
‘Whisky Galore’ is a story for whisky fans, but also for those who wonder if a trip to the Speyside is worth it if you’re not a whisky lover. A hint: it is!
We’re driving to the Speyside and spend a few days in Dufftown, the “Whisky Capital of the World”. The Speyside is one of the best places to learn about Scottish whisky – it’s the most productive whisky region in the country. The distilleries here produce more whisky than all other regions together!
But of course, driving and drinking don’t blend well. And so, after an initial road trip to the Speyside, we explore the Malt Whisky Trail round Dufftown on foot.
After the story, I’ll tell you some of my top tips to visit the Speyside and get the most out of a trip to the Malt Whisky Trail.
Are you ready? Great – let’s travel to Scotland!
This episode is brought to you by Go Ape.
Book now at www.goape.co.uk and use the code WILDSCOT to receive 10% all four Scottish Go Ape sites – Aberfoyle, Peebles, Aberdeen, Dalkeith (Edinburgh).
Valid from 14th September 2021 to 30th March 2022.
Includes all activities (Treetop Adventure, Treetop Adventure Plus, Treetop Challenge, Zip Line Experience).
Use my Speyside travel guide to plan a whisky trip, but also see what else you can do in the area.
Written and hosted by Kathi Kamleitner.
Produced and edited by Fran Turauskis.
Cover Art illustrated by Lizzie Vaughan-Knight.
All original music composed by Bruce Wallace.
Additional sound effects from Zapsplat, Pond5 and SoundBoard.
All photographs by Kathi Kamleitner.
Useful tips for visiting the Malt Whisky Trail & Speyside
1) Stay in Dufftown
There are many places to stay in the Speyside – from dedicated whisky hotels to villages with distilleries. But when you visit the Speyside on a road trip, I suggest staying in Dufftown. Not only is it the “Whisky Capital of the World”, but it’s also great because there are quite a few distilleries in walking distance, so you can leave your car behind.
I stayed at Davaar B&B, a lovely bed and breakfast in the heart of Dufftown, just a stone’s throw from the Clock Tower, the Seven Stills restaurant and the whisky distilleries.
2) Book a whisky walking tour
If you love whisky, but also driving, you’ll soon face a dilemma. You’ll have to choose one or the other. While distilleries usually offer small bottles to take away any drams that are included in your tour and tasting, it’s simply not the same.
I am so glad I discovered the Dufftown Distilleries Walk with Speyside Tours. Our guide Michele was amazing and it was a great way to learn about many different Speyside whiskies without having to drive to multiple distilleries. I thought it was the perfect tour to include on a whisky road trip.
3) Do at least one proper distillery tour
There’s nothing quite like seeing how it’s done right at the source. A distillery tour usually includes a walk around the facilities and a few drams to taste. Seeing that the Speyside is Scotland’s most prolific whisky region, so there is no shortage of distilleries to visit – many have visitor centres and offer public tours.
If you’re looking for value for money – I really enjoyed my tour at Aberlour, which included 5 drams at the tasting. But, you can also tour Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Macallan or Cardhu – just to name a few.
4) Visit for the Spirit of Speyside Festival
Spirit of Speyside is an annual whisky festival with hundreds of whisky events across the region. There is something for everyone, whether you are new to whisky or an expert connoisseur. The festival runs from the 3rd to the 8th of November 2021. But you can already start planning ahead for the years to come.
5) Look beyond whisky
And finally, a word of advice – or rather an encouragement for anyone who might not enjoy whisky all that much. There are many other things to do and see in the Speyside. From historic sites like the Craigellachie Bridge or Ballindalloch Castle, to hikes near Dufftown or on the Speyside Way, the region has a lot to offer whether you’re a whisky fan or not.