Scottish Distilleries Open to Visitors
The majority of Scottish whisky distilleries in Scotland are open to visitors however, some don’t have visitor centres and tours are by appointment only. It is best to book your tours and whisky tastings in advance if you can. Most tours and tastings have limited spaces and can be in very high demand, often being booked out well in advance.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the Scottish distilleries are closed or have limited opening times and experiences. Any that are open will have measures in place relating to visitor safety. Opening status is largely determined by the latest government restrictions although some distilleries remained shut throughout 2020 after the first lockdown.
You can use sites like this to identify distilleries you want to visit and then click through to the actual distillery site for their latest opening details and tour and tasting availability.
Scotch Whisky Distilleries are are often grouped by whisky making region. These are Highland, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown and Lowland whisky regions. As well as geography, the region also reflects a typical whisky style. Although these style profiles are still relevant, you will find more and more regional crossover. You can visit Islay which is associated with peated whiskies and find unpeated drams. Likewise, it’s not too hard to find peated whiskies in Speyside.
The regions can be ueful for tour planning however some regions cover a vast area. We’ve also developed more focused whisky tour planning pages so you can put together an itinerary of each distillery you want to visit.
Highland Region Distilleries Open to Visitors
The Highland whisky area covers most of Scotland, stretching from just above Edinburgh and Glasgow to the Orkney Isles in the far north. Regional Highland malt whisky characteristics are particularly hard to define and you are likely to find a wide range of styles. Highland Whisky Distilleries include:
Ben Nevis Distillery
Blair Athol Distillery
Glen Garioch Distillery
Glen Ord Distillery
Royal Lochnagar Distillery
The Inverness and Highland Whisky Tour itinerary focuses on distilleries near Inverness and the Highland distilleries in the north. You can use this overview to narrow down the best distillery visit(s) for you.
Speyside Region Distilleries Open to Visitors
Speyside is where you will find the highest concentration of whisky distilleries in Scotland and many offer visitors distillery tours and whisky tasting. The River Spey runs from south to north through this area and with some exceptions, most distilleries are found relatively nearby.
The regional Speyside malt whisky style is one of vanilla, fruit, honey and spice however, some distilleries produce smokier and even triple distilled expressions either as a mainstay or limited runs e.g. some distilleries have a peatweek. Speyside Whisky Distilleries include:
Glen Grant Distillery
Glen Moray Distillery
Many of these distilleries are included in our outline Speyside Whisky Tour itinerary which is ideal for planning and deciding which are the best distilleries to visit for your requirements.
Lowland Region Distilleries Open to Visitors
The Lowland area of Scotland is known for producing very light and smooth whiskies with subtle grassy, floral blosssom, ginger and peppery style. Lowland whisky distilleries include:
Eden Mill Distillery
Islay Region Distilleries Open to Visitors
The Island of Islay – pronounce eyeluh – is synonymous with peated whisky. Its exposed position on the west coast of Scotland and abundance of peat are reflected in the majority of Islay whiskies. Islay whisky distilleries include:
These Islay distilleries are included in our outline Islay Whisky Tour itinerary. Ideal for shortlisting the best distilleries for you to visit.
Campbeltown Region Distilleries Open to Visitors
Campbeltown Whisky Region is on the Kintyre peninsula and was once home to more than 25 distilleries. Only three remain making it the smallest whisky making region. The fact that it is a recognised region in its own right is testament to its continuing whisky heritage. The Campbeltown style is varied but you might see sea spray, briny, vanillas and sweets on some core expression tasting notes.
The Campbeltown Whisky Tour itinerary gives an overview of the Cambeltown distilleries and information which will help you choose the best options for your particular requirements.
This represents quite a list of distilleries which are open to the public. However, by looking at where you are travelling to, you can focus in on the best tour options for you. In addition you will notice that some distilleries offer a range of experiences. If you are intending to visit more than one distillery on your trip to Scotland, consider using the different tour and tasting types to enhance your experience. The whisky map is also very good for planning distillery visits.
Travel is going to be difficult for some time yet. Visit Scotland provides a good source of travel information.