Scotland, the home of whisky! As such, many regard whisky from the Highlands of Scotland to be the best in the world. The distillation process has been perfected over hundreds of years here in the Highlands. It’s no wonder you can expect a perfect dram every time from our whisky distilleries. What’s more, our Highland whisky distilleries have a fascinating history to explore.
Visit our local Inverness distilleries, Glen Ord and Tomatin. Or read on to find out more about the history of Scottish whisky.< Go Back to Things to Do
So how did the Highlands of Scotland become such a hotspot for whisky distilleries?
The story begins as early as the 11th century. Like most things in Scotland, the success of whisky comes down to our weather. With the country not being known for its sunny weather, winemaking was not an option. Scottish monks started to use grain mash instead, using water from nearby rivers.
Whisky also needs a cool, moist environment to mature properly. This is something Scotland has no problem supplying! The tradition continued through the centuries, making Scotland one of the world’s most successful producers of the drink.
The popularity of the drink grew throughout the centuries. In 1506, King James IV visited Inverness and drank “aqua vite”. This was probably Highland Scotch.
If a product is called Scotch whisky then it must follow a legal definition. This includes that it must be produced in Scotland and matured in oak casks for at least 3 years. This way, you know that if you are buying highland single malt Scotch whisky, then it’s definitely from Scotland. However, the flavours in the finished bottle also depend on the rocks the rivers flow through. The result can be whiskies with flavours including smoky, honey or even heather tones.
We also spell whisky without an “e”! Some believe the Irish and American spelling (whiskey) dates back to when Scottish and Irish distilleries wanted to highlight the difference between their products.
Would you prefer to taste a range of Highland whiskies from a comfortable seat? Most hotels and restaurants offer a large whisky selection. Just ask your bartender who will be able to show you the very best Scotland has to offer. Many even offer tasting experiences themselves – perfect for an evening’s entertainment. Enjoy a great “taste of Scotland” as you tour as many distilleries as possible here in Scotland. Here, you can taste how the geography and geology of Scotland influence the flavours of your favourite whisky.
To fully understand the importance whisky had on Scotland’s growth, there’s no better way to learn than touring our distilleries. Every location has its distinctive style, charm and flavour. So if you are planning your trip to Inverness, then why not book your tours of Highland whisky distilleries in advance? This way you can enjoy your very own Highland whisky experience on your visit!