Aberdeenshire Whisky Tour Itinerary
There are five whisky distilleries with visitor centres in Aberdeenshire which you can choose from to develop your own whisky tours. Aberdeenshire is part of the Highland Whisky Region and collectively its whisky distilleries have been described as the Secret Malts.
Aberdeenshire is a large, fertiles area in the North East of Scotland. It lies between Aberdeen City on the east coast and the Moray Speyside region to its western side. Tayside and Dundee lie to the south. Aberdeen City does not have any distilleries you can visit however, Aberdeenshire does. Aberdeen is known as the oil capital of Europe and the wider area of Aberdeenshire is also known for its castles, many well preserved and with visitor centres. It’s ideal for a whisky and castle themed tour.
Glen Garioch Distillery
Glen Garioch was established in 1797 and is one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries. It’s also Scotland’s most easterly distillery. Glen Garioch single malts are non chill filtered. Historically, Glen Garioch has offered a range of tours and premium tastings including a whisky and cheese pairing.
One of the best beaches in Aberdeenshire is Sandend. At the eastern end you will find Glenglassaugh Distillery which was founded in 1875. After 2 decades of non production it restarted in 2008. One of their single malts is aptly named Revival as is one of their distillery tours – The Revival Tour.
Knockdhu is an Aberdeenshire distillery which lies very close to the Speyside region border. Unusually it’s single malt is not named after the distillery – it’s known as anCnoc pronounced a – nock. Knockdhu Distillery tours are informal and tailored to your requirements.
Aberdeenshire Whisky Tour Map
Sarting at the bottom of the map, in south Aberdeenshire lies the village of Fettercairn and Fettercairn Distillery (owned by the same company as Dalmore and Jura distilleries). The village is tiny but has an impressive arch built to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Continuing north, lies the old fishing town of Stonehaven. To the south is Dunnottar Castle which has a dramatic cliff top position overlooking the sea.
Near Aberdeen is the A93 which goes west towards the Cairgorms. Crathes Castle and Drum Castle are en route as are the towns of Banchory, Aboyne and Ballater. To the west of Ballater lies Balmoral Castle, home of the Royal Family. Just a short distance away you will find Royal Lochnagar Distillery which was a favourite of Queen Victoria and it still has royal connections.
The A96 is the main route towards Inverness. North of Inverurie is Oldlmeldrum which is the home of Glen Garioch Distillery. Nearby is Tolquhon Castle and Haddo House.
In Huntly, you will find the ruins of Huntly Castle. Nearby is GlenDronanch in the tiny hamlet of Forgue. Further west is Knockdhu Distillery.
In a coastal position, just to the west of Porstoy is Glenglassaugh Distillery. Portsoy is where much of the new version of Whisky Galore was filmed. It went so well that scenes from Peaky Blinders were filmed here.
Although these distilleries appear quite isolated, Knockdhu, Glenglassaugh and Glendronach are fairly near the Speyside Whisky Making region although they are still in the Highland region. Knockdhu is around 10 miles from Strathisla Distillery in Keith.
Featured Aberdeenshire Distilleries
How to get to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
Aberdeen Airport is a busy regional airport with direct flights from the rest of the UK and Europe. There are very good bus and train links to Aberdeen from the south e.g. from Edinburgh and Glasgow and the west including Inverness.