Scotland’s oldest and most famous working distillery is found in the heart of Perthshire and produces the UK’s number-one blend of malts, The Famous Grouse. The Glenturret Distillery opened in 1775 and has changed hands many times since then. In the late 19th century, it was owned by Matthew Gloag, who was invited to provide the drinks for a royal banquet in honor of Queen Victoria. For the great occasion, he created a whisky using the purest of water from the Perthshire hills and finest local malted barley, and utilized handmade oak casks to flavor his whisky. He called it The Grouse, with his son adding the ‘famous’ in 1905. The distilling process perfected by Gloag is still used today, as are the rotund, copper pot stills and the casks – seasoned with sherry or bourbon – where the whiskies are aged for a minimum of three years. They are then ‘married’ with several other single malts for a further six months to create the perfect, consistent blend and each year 43 million bottles of Grouse are exported to 94 countries.
Tours of The Glenturret include tastings and the chance to bottle your own single malt (an experience launched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2014). The revamped restaurant sells the best of local produce and there’s also a souvenir store selling Glenturret single malts as well as The Famous Grouse plus branded glassware and clothing.
Glenturret Distillery, The Hosh, Crieff. Open daily Mar–Oct
10am–6pm, Nov–Feb 10am–5pm. Admission prices vary between £10 and £250 according to tour. Best accessed by car along the M9 until junction 11, take the A822 at Greenloaning via Braco and Muthill, then follow brown signs.