Whisky is a translation of the Gaelic 'uisge', meaning ‘water of life’.
Whisky is Scotland’s national drink and is renowned and celebrated globally. So there really is no where better to learn more about how whisky is distilled and sample a dram than when you are visiting Scotland.
In Glasgow you can sample whisky from all around Scotland at some great traditional bars and pubs. Must-visits include The Pot Still, The Bon Accord, The Ben Nevis and The Lismore Bar, where friendly locals and staff will help you navigate their huge selection of whisky on offer. Read more about the top whisky bars in Glasgow. Or you can take a guided tour with Once Upon A Whisky Tours who can take you on a journey through some of the best 'off the beaten track' bars available in Glasgow. You'll get to visit quirky venues with great food and whisky (of course) as well as amazing stories to tell.
After sampling a dram in the city, why not add a visit to a distillery to your trip to find out how the 'water of life' is created? There are more than 100 distilleries in Scotland and they can be found across five whisky producing regions – Lowland, Highland, Islay, Campbeltown and Speyside – which are all accessible from Glasgow.
Auchentoshan Distillery is a Lowland Distillery that sits on the banks of the River Clyde and is only a short journey from Glasgow's city centre. Offering tours and whisky masterclasses, it's where you can discover all you need to know about Scotland’s national drink. Closer to Glasgow is the new Clydeside Distillery, which will be the first operational distillery to open in Glasgow in over 100 years. Celebrating the city and country’s whisky heritage through a dedicated visitor centre, you'll learn all about the history of whisky in Glasgow.
There are more than 40 Highland Distilleries, including Glengoyne, which is only a short distance from Glasgow. Often described as Scotland’s most beautiful distillery, the picturesque Glengoyne offers tours including the 'Whisky and Chocolate' tour where the single malt is matched with chocolates from a local chocolatier. Masterclasses are also available where you can enjoy a day of nosing, swirling and tasting, with the chance to create your very own Glengoyne Highland Single Malt too.
The geography of the Isle of Islay, which lies off the West Coast of Scotland, allows it to be a perfect location for distilling whisky. It has a long history with whisky and is still home to eight active distilleries - Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. As the island is only 25 miles long, it makes it easy to visit them all on a trip, making it the Scottish island of choice for many whisky connoisseurs.
Campbeltown, positioned at the tip of the Kintyre peninsula on the West Coast of Scotland, was once home to around 30 distilleries. Over the years the number has reduced and there are now just three - Springbank, Glengyle, and Glen Scotia – so malt fans can still experience the distinct characteristics of a Campbeltown malt on one of the tours.
Campbeltown is approximately a three hour drive from Glasgow and Citylink offer a direct coach service, which takes in some beautiful scenery en route, including Loch Lomond and Loch Fyne.
The Speyside region in the North East of Scotland is the largest of the whisky regions in terms of production and the number of distilleries. The distilleries are all located around the River Spey, with world famous single-malts, The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich, both produced in this region.