Inside the best whiskey distilleries in Scotland from Glasgow to Isle and beyond
THEY say whiskey is the water of life and our other national drink is definitely a lifeline when it comes to tourism in Scotland.
We thrive in the whiskey tourism industry and collectively our distilleries are the third most visited attraction in Scotland.
In 2019 alone, Amber Nectar attracted 2.16 million visitors to see the distilleries that produce their favorite malt.
This is 52% more than in 2010 and it looks like this trend will continue.
Visitor spending is also on the rise, with a record £85m in 2019, up 154% from 2010.
People from all over the world come to our shores to go on a whiskey tour, with Germans and Americans being the biggest fans. In fact, two out of every three visits to the distillery are made by foreign tourists.
There are 128 malts operating in Scotland, with an estimated export of £4.9 billion in 2019, with 42 bottles of Scotch being shipped overseas every second!
There are 68 Scotch Whiskey Visitor Centers that are open to the public, with eight more available to visit by appointment.
But while whiskey is all down to personal taste, it’s almost impossible to tell which distillery in Scotland is the most popular with visitors, so far!
Team in barrel connoisseur ranked all whiskey distilleries in Scotland based on Google Reviews & Ratings, Tripadvisor Reviews & Ratings, and total Instagram hashtags and TikTok views.
And the one that comes out on top is the Laphroaig distillery in Port Ellen, Islay.
Known for its rich and unmistakable whisky flavor, Laphroaig still uses its traditional methods to produce one of the most distinctive single malt whiskeys.
The distillery has been one of the most followed on Instagram and TikTok, so it’s a distillery that many people love to visit and take pictures of. He scored 736.5 points out of 840 possible.
Glenkinchie Distillery in Pencateland, East Lothian came in second with 710 points. With a Google rating of 4.9, this is a clear favorite among many whiskey drinkers, perhaps due to its proximity to the capital. They also have 5 stars on TripAdvisor.
In third place is Oban Distillery on the stunning west coast of Scotland, with a score of 702.5 out of a possible 840.
This small historic distillery in Oban has been producing whiskey since the 18th century. Despite being one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, it is one of the most popular as it has the most reviews on Tripadvisor.
He then returns to Islay, where Lagavulin Distillery is in fourth place with a score of 690 points. Situated in the stunning Lagavulin Bay next to the ruins of Dunyveg Castle, it is considered to be one of the oldest distilleries in the country.
Take a look at all the intricacies of the distillery, including the unusual pear-shaped stills, and try their world-famous smoky peat whisky.
In fifth place is the Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, Speyside, which hosts one of the largest Scottish whiskey festivals. He scored an impressive 689.5 points out of a possible 840.
It is known for being the only distillery in Scotland to maintain the five rare crafts of whiskey making – homemade barley, malting, copper pot stills, skilled coopers and malt makers.
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