Taste Original Scottish Whisky

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It’s one thing to drink a glass of Scotch, but it’s another thing entirely to sip that wee dram on a whisky tasting tour of Scotland. Here are the best ways to experience Scotch whisky—literally the “water of life”—on an excursion from Edinburgh.

Full-Day Tours
On a full-day whisky tasting tour from Edinburgh you’ll have enough time to experience two Scottish whisky distilleries. You’ll get introduced to the beauty of the Scottish countryside while traveling to the distilleries, then sip samples of barrel-aged Scotch and learn about the distilling process (you may even get the chance to sample Scotch directly out of the cask). Day trips typically include a stop at a local pub for lunch, as well as some time visiting cathedrals, waterfalls, or national parks.

Multi-Day Tours
To really experience Scotland’s whisky regions, consider a multi-day whisky tasting tour of Speyside or the island of Islay. Along the way you’ll visit six to eight distilleries and taste several types of Scotch. These longer tours enable you to immerse yourself in the history and heritage of Scotland’s most famous drink (the first written record of Scotch whisky dates to the late 1400s) and to experience some of the area’s top sights before eventually heading back to Edinburgh.

Things to Know
  • A glass of Scotch whisky is known as a dram.
  • Scotland’s five main whisky regions are the Highlands, the Lowlands, Speyside, Campbeltown, and the island of Islay. The outer islands—including Skye and Orkney—are considered a subregion of the greater Highlands region.
  • Scotch whisky is either single malt, single grain, or a combination of blends. All Scotch must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. 
  • The standards for production and labeling of Scotch are highly regulated.
  • Day trips typically last a little over eight hours.
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