Reflecting as much charm, creativity and variety as the spirit they produce, whisky distilleries are truly magical places.
Whisky tourism is a booming industry. There are countless active distilleries around the world, and many more in the pipeline. To visit them all would take a lifetime and a whole lot of airmails so here, in no particular order, is our official 2019 list of distilleries to visit before you die.
Established in 1823 in Clydebank, near Glasgow in Scotland the Auchentoshan distillery produces the lightest and most accessible single malt whiskies on the market. The tour offers insight into almost every facet of whisky production, including a fascinating look into the triple distillation process.
Kyrö Distillery Company, Finland
The world’s most northerly whisky distillery has made the list for the second year running. Formerly a dairy, the Kyrö Distillery in Finland boasts an extensive product range and a fantastic tour, and a sauna for visitors to enjoy.
Starward Distillery, Australia
Melbourne’s Starward Distillery is known for its events, tours and masterclasses. Purpose built and established in 2016; it features on-site maturation warehouses that have allowed production to double to 450,000 litres. The contemporary distillery attracts every level of whisky enthusiast with their whisky parties and dessert pairings.
Four Roses, USA
Built in 1910, the Four Roses distillery is located in the picturesque Kentucky countryside. Due to the Spanish Mission-style architecture, the distillery has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the warehouses also features a building in the shape of a giant barrel.
Lakes Distillery, England
Another return nominee, the Lakes Distillery continues to flourish. Awarded the Icons of Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year 2019 by Whisky Magazine, it hosts regular events, tailored tours and an award-winning bistro.
Located on the shores of Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay, the Bowmore Distillery is surrounded by typically beautiful scenery. Established as a small-scale operation in 1779, it is the oldest legal distillery on Islay. Visitors can also trek to the nearby River Laggan, the distillery’s unique water source.
Highland Park, Scotland
Scotland’s most northerly distillery is steeped in Viking history. Early in the 9th century, Viking longboats departed the shores of Denmark and Norway to conquer new lands. They found Orkney and ruled the cluster of 70 islands for many years. Today, the Highland Park distillery offers a range of tours for almost every price point and skill level. Photo: Søren Solkær.
Located in picturesque Glenville, Canada, this mountain distillery produces Glen Breton whisky. Along with guided tours and tastings, visitors can enjoy fresh local mussels from the on-site restaurant. Tired visitors can also rent a room at the Glenora Inn.