When coming to the Cairngorms National Park one of the things you will want to try is our famous whiskies - in fact some of the best distilleries in Scotland are right here on our doorstep. There is a huge amount of distilleries near Aviemore - so here our top picks of where to taste, experience and buy whisky when in Aviemore.
The Speyside distillery co runs The Snug in Aviemore where you can buy and taste their award winning range of Whiskies - call Claire on 01479 810126 for tasting availability. They also offer private tours to their picturesque distillery near Kingussie by prior arrangement. The Snug also features artwork by local artist Joanna McDonough which is well worth checking out too.
Dalwhinnie distillery tour
If arriving in Aviemore from the South you will have passed this on the way up - both the A9 and railway line offer views of this stunning picture postcard distillery. The distillery here dates back to the 1890s and is the highest distillery in the country. The drams produced here are lovely and gentle and are produced using crisp fresh snowmelt from the Drumochter hills. Tours are available 7 days a week throughout the year. Dalwhinnie does have a train station with the Dalwhinnie visitor centre a 15min walk away.
Tomatin distillery visitor centre
Located between Aviemore and Inverness - Tomatin distillery also dates from the 1890s and is located in the village in the Highlands that shares its name. Tomatin whisky might not be the most famous Highland whisky but it has a world wide following and frequently picks up prestigious international awards. The tomatin distillery shop is open daily and stocks the full range of their expressions - Tomatin legacy is a lovely one to pick up if you are new to whisky. Tomatin distillery tours run from noon on Fridays and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Old Bridge Inn, Aviemore
There is no better way to enjoy whisky than in a cosy Highland pub - the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore has a fantastic selection of whisky (and gins) and makes a great spot to spend the afternoon. Food here is top notch and space is limited so it's worth booking in advance if you fancy a meal too. The pub is dog friendly so great to combine with a walk along the old logging way.
Whisky Castle, Tomintoul
Take a trip up to Tomintoul - the highest village in the country - and you will find the most fantastic Aladain’s cave of whisky. This shop has been running since 1904 and offers an impressive selection of 600 different whiskies - including - single malts, indpendent bottlings, single grain whisky and blends. You can enjoy tastings here as well as finding bottles exclusive to the shop. Family run with passionate, knowledgeable staff it is no wonder they welcome 30,000 visitors a year. Forget buying your whisky from a supermarket or national chain - this whisky shop is the real deal. There is also Tomintoul distillery near by - however at time of writing it is not offering tours.
Speyside Malt Whisky Trail
Aviemore is short distance away from the distilleries in the Speyside whisky region and associated Malt Whisky Trail. There are in total 50 distilleries in this region that between them make half of Scotland’s whisky - all from the banks of the River Spey - a whopping 40 million litres of spirit! Some of the most famous distilleries in Scotland hail from here - including Glenfiddich, The Macallan and Glenfarclas - all 3 offer tours and tastings. For details of more Speyside distillery tours the Malt Whisky Trail website is a great resource. For a fascinating insight into how whisky barrels are made check out the Speyside cooperage - the only cooperage in the country that offers tours - see how they make and repair 150,000 casks a year.
Speyside whisky tours
If you don’t want to worry about who is driving while everyone else enjoys the drams - there are a number of options for tours. Many local taxi firms offer tour services - try Aviemore Taxis or Doc’s taxis. Inverness based Wow Scotland also offer group tours that combine multiple distilleries.
Coming soon - Grantown on spey distillery - The Cairn
World renowned whisky merchants Gordon Macphail are currently building a distillery near Grantown on Spey called The Cairn. Scheduled to open in spring 2022, The Cairn Distillery will include a visitor experience, tasting rooms, retail space and coffee shop. One to keep an eye on!
There is so much to see and experience when it comes to Whisky. Don’t be put off exploring whisky if you don’t know your Glenlivet from your Glenfiddich, don't know your Speyside distilleries from your Highland ones (even experts can't agree on that) or are worried about whether you should put water in your dram or not (we say go for it if you want) - whisky is no longer just for the experts and a lot of the old snobbery and stuffiness is gone. Whisky is now an exciting accessible drink with lots of passionate people who will help you discover everything it offers - we think there is no better place to do it than the Cairngorms. Slainte!
Where can I buy whisky in Aviemore?
Speyside Distillery offers their range of whisky for sale at The Snug. For other drams try Rothiemurchus Farm Shop, or for something truly unique The Whisky Castle in Tomintoul has over 600 bottles.
Where can I taste whisky in Aviemore?
Speyside Distillery offers tasting of their whisky at The Snug. For enjoying some drams a cosy pub setting try The Old Bridge Inn.
Are there any distillery tours near Aviemore?
Speyside distillery, Dalwhinnie and Tomatin distilleries all offer tours and are easy to reach from Aviemore. Aviemore is also close to the Malt Whisky Trail.
How many distilleries are there in Speyside?
There are 50 distilleries in the Speyside Whisky region.