Welcome to Speyside, the biggest and most important whisky region in Scotland.
Speyside is named after the River Spey which rises in the Cairngorms near Aviemore and flows northeast through a hill and woodland landscape to enter the sea at a spot north east of Inverness between Lossiemouth and Buckie. The Speyside whisky area is centred on the River Spey and other rivers east of Inverness, in and around towns such as Grantown-on-Spey, Craigellachie, Keith, Elgin and Forres where can be found some forty five distilleries or about half of the Scottish total. In the main, the whisky produced here is renowned for its mellow sweetness and very low incidence of peat.
Catswhiskerstours works with guests to arrange and deliver customised tours. The information below is provided to assist guests with setting priorities and focus.
The Spey is about 100 miles (160 km) in length. There are other rivers in the area including the Findhorn, Lossie, Livet, Deveron, Fiddich and Dullan the names of which have found there way in to certain local malts. Scenery is magnificent. Here is a listing of the distilleries in and around Speyside: Benromach, Glenburgie, Glen Moray, Miltonduff, Glenlossie, Linkwood, Benriach, Longmorn, Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenglassaugh, Autlmore, Glen Keith, Strathisla, Strathmill, Glentauchers, Auchroisk, Speyburn, Caperdonich, Glenrothes, Glen Spey, Glen Grant, Craigellachie, Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Glendullan, Mortlach, Dufftown, Aberlour, Macallan, Benrinnes, Dailuaine, Imperial, Cardhu, Knockando, Tamdhu, Glenfarclas, Alt’ A Bhainne, Cragganmore, Tormore, Glenlivet, Braeval, Tomintoul, Balmenach, Speyside.
Within the above listing can be found some of the best malts in Scotland, e.g. Aberlour, Aultmore, Balmenach, Cardhu, Dufftown, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Knockando. Macallan. Mortlach, Strathisla and Tamdhu.
Grantown-on-Spey is a planned, 18th century town and very suitable as base for touring the area. It is also popular with hikers, anglers and (in winter time) skiers. There is a wide choice of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs and restaurants.
Craigellachie sits on the banks of the Spey and dates back to about 1750. Both Craigellachie and Macallan distilleries are in the vicinity. In the centre can be found the Craigellachie Hotel with its renowned whisky bar, home to some 700 malts.
The town of Keith sits and the north east tip of the Speyside whisky cluster. It is close to the River Isla, dates from 1180 and is renowned for kilt making. There are four distilleries in the vicinity including Strathisla.
Elgin can be found at the northern tip of Speyside. A fascinating market town and capital of Moray region. Home to a ruined cathedral dating from the 1200s. There are seven distilleries nearby including Glen Moray, Linkwood and Glen Elgin.
Forres lies between Elgin and Inverness on the banks of the River Findhorn. An ancient market town and home to the Pictish era Sueno’s Stone. To the south can be found the historic Dallas Dhu Distillery.
What is the Malt Whisky Trail?
This Speyside itinerary combines stunning scenery with a valuable introduction to the world of the Speyside malt. The trail can take about two days to complete and includes visits to Glenlivet Distillery, Glenfarcas Distillery, Knockando Distillery, Cardhu Distillery, Aberlour Distillery, Speyside Cooperage (whisky barrels), Glenfiddich Distillery, Dufftown Whisky Museum, Glen Grant Distillery & Garden, Elgin Museum, Strathisla Distillery and Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery.
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In and around Speyside there are opportunities for hiking, fishing, photography, watching for wildlife, visiting historic buildings and castles (e.g. Drumin Castle and Elgin Cathedral), travelling on the Strathspey Steam Railway and visiting sites further afield such as Culloden Battlefield and Loch Ness.
For more information and help contact Nigel-
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