The Malt Whisky Trail in Moray Speyside

The Malt Whisky Trail in Moray Speyside

Moray Speyside in northeastern Scotland is often referred to as 'Malt Whisky Country' and is home to more than half of the country’s malt whisky distilleries. One of Scotland’s five whisky regions, it is also the location of the far-famed Malt Whisky Trail. A unique visitor attraction, this sixty-two-mile trail is the only one of its kind in the world and encompasses several fascinating destinations, including working and historic distilleries and an authentic cooperage.

A unique experience in Scotland and one of the best things to do in Moray Speyside, the Malt Whisky Trail leads visitors on a journey from the banks of the River Spey to the salt-kissed shore of the Moray Firth. As you explore, you are invited to uncover the craftsmanship of artisan distilleries honed over the centuries and enjoy a range of things to see and do. Along the way, savour spellbinding drives through towering evergreens and picnics overlooking the North Sea. Whether you’re following all or part of the trail, a world of whisky and wonder awaits.

To get you started, we’ve curated a guide to the distilleries and cooperages of the Malt Whisky Trail and what to discover along the way.


A whisky barrel on snowy ground outside of Benromach Distillery

Benromach Distillery was established in 1898 and taken over by the Urquhart family in 1993, a Scottish family with Highland clan roots dating all the way back to the thirteenth century. Located near Forres and fed by the spring water of the Romach Hills, this unique distillery is famed for its fine, handmade whisky crafted by highly skilled distillers. Reviving and innovating the old style of Speyside whiskies, Benromach’s Speyside single malt embodies tradition and features a subtle, smoky character. Using just three ingredients, its recipes blend barley, water, and yeast, and are matured exclusively in first-fill casks. Handmade, hand poured, hand weighed and hand decorated, its award-winning finished products can be sampled during onsite tours and purchased by the bottle to savour in a luxury retreat.


Copper-hued distilling vats in a row inside Cardhu Distillery

Cardhu Distillery in Knockando was established in 1824 by Helen Cumming and later run by her daughter, Elizabeth. Founded on the talent and determination of these two pioneering women, the distillery is still renowned two hundred years later for its passionate spirit and warm welcome. Producing “a whisky with heart”, it is also famous for being one of the first distilleries to work in partnership with the famous John Walker & Sons Distillery and still curates collaborative single malts and bespoke blends today. Part of the Malt Whisky Trail, this distillery can be visited throughout the year and affords a great starting point for both those beginning their whisky discovery and those with a finely tuned palate. Book a guided distillery tour or tutored tastings, or visit the Tasting Kitchen bar for a delicious dish and a dram.


A glass of Glenfiddich Grand Cru being poured into a pretty glass with a lakeside backdrop

One of the remaining family-run distilleries in Scotland, Glenfiddich has been distilling its unique liquors since 1887 and is now one of the most famous distilleries in the world. Nestled within the whisky heartlands of Dufftown, it is renowned for producing the world’s most awarded single malt whisky and continues to push the boundaries of traditional techniques. Translated from Scots Gaelic as “Valley of the Deer”, Glenfiddich distils a range of flagship and limited edition whiskies from its onsite distillery and cooperage. These include highlights such as a highly exclusive Janet Sheed Roberts single malt released in 2011 and sold at auction to set new world records. Janet was the remaining granddaughter of the original company founder and became Scotland’s oldest woman at 110. Today, you can sample some of the distillery's most famous whiskies during expert-led tours and masterclasses.

Glen Grant

A whisky distiller inspecting a glass of whisky next to oak barrels at Glen Grant Distillery

From 10-year-old to 70-year-old single malts, Glen Grant Distillery in Rothes on the Malt Whisky Trail is renowned for its award-winning creations. Opened in 1840 by “smugglers turned visionary leaders”, brothers John and James Grant, the distillery capitalised on its proximity to flowing rivers, barley-growing plains and trading ports. Meanwhile, driving the distillery to the next level was the family’s love of industry and technology – interests that also saw them found the Morayshire Railway Company. Today, the distillery continues to thrive under the management of Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm OBE, who was born on the distillery grounds and uses his life’s work to pour passion and expertise into each bottle. To learn more about the fascinating heritage of Glen Grant Distillery and sample its core and exclusive single malts, sip at the source and join a distillery and garden tour.


Inside the beautiful, award-winning visitor centre at Glenlivet Distillery

Another unmissable stop on the Malt Whisky Trail, Glenlivet Distillery near Ballindalloch has been producing single malt Scotch whisky since 1824. One of the oldest distilleries in the country, it began its life in the remote and sheltered Livet Valley, with founder George Smith perfecting his craft away from the eyes of local Customs Officers. Turning to nature to provide the raw ingredients and harnessing centuries of expertise, the distillery team continue to produce world-famous drinks, from their American oaked Founder’s Reserve to the tropical-infused Caribbean Reserve to the Cognac cask Captain’s Reserve and more. Stop off at the distillery to tour behind the scenes, peruse the shop, and pick up a bottle or two to enjoy as a clean whisky on the rocks or signature Glenlivet cocktail blend.

Glen Moray

A row of Glen Moray whisky bottles atop an oak barrel

For a welcoming introduction to the world of whisky, make your way to Glen Moray Distillery in Elgin. A thriving distillery with over a hundred years of history, it tempts whisky connoisseurs and learners alike to learn about its rich heritage and bespoke single malt Scotch whiskies. From its Classic creations with unique cask finishes to Heritage collections aged to perfection to its Curiosity specials with bold, experimental and playful finishes, there is something for everyone in its curated array. Meander along the streets of Elgin – Moray Speyside’s unofficial capital – and reserve your place on a distillery tour at Glen Moray. To refuel, you can also satiate your appetite with a drink or bite to eat in the distillery’s onsite coffee shop, which serves light lunches, homemade soups, and indulgent cakes and bakes on select days throughout the year.

Strathisla Distillery

The sun-kissed exteriors of Strathisla Distillery framed by greenery and topped by blue skies

One of the founding distilleries in Malt Whisky Country in Scotland, Strathisla Distillery in Keith first began production in 1786 and is the oldest distillery in the Highlands. A must-visit distillery along the Malt Whisky Trail, it is renowned for its historical pedigree and for being the home of the beloved Chivas whisky. One of the few Speyside distilleries crafting both premium blended and single malt whiskies, it is a haven for lovers of “golden sunshine” and offers a wide variety of things to see, do and sample. Head over to enjoy a range of activities, including warehouse experiences where you can discover the ancient Chivas vault, dedicated distillery tours, and immersive Chivas blending workshops where you can create a tailored blend of your own for blissful moments in your Boutique retreat.

Speyside Cooperage

Coopers working on a large oak barrel at Speyside Cooperage

The heartbeat of not only Moray Speyside’s but Scotland’s whisky industry is Speyside Cooperage in Dufftown. First started in 1947, it revolves around the technical art of barrel making. Receiving barrels from around the world, many of which have been used to store bourbon, port, and sherry, its highly skilled team make and repair casks using oak and natural materials – all using traditional techniques without glue or nails. The only working cooperage left in the UK, it opens its doors throughout the year to visitors looking to learn about its ancient craft and see coopers at work. Take time to explore its visitor centre and award-winning Acorn to Cask exhibition, take guided tours, and peruse its gift shop for a unique souvenir.

Ready to follow the Malt Whisky Trail? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Scotland.

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