Yes, the obvious thing to do on Speyside is to visit distilleries and drink whisky. But there’s so much more on offer if you look beyond the distilleries…
Any punter who’s been to Speyside can tell you to visit Distillery X or to make sure you do the “Experts Tour” (or some similarly badged experience) at Distillery Y. The problem with such advice or recommendations is that most people giving you their tips can only draw from their experience of the five or six distilleries they’ve been to, or they simply tell you to go to their favourite distillery – which is a subjective opinion and experience at best.
There are 50 operating distilleries on Speyside at the moment, and Whisky & Wisdom has visited and toured all but one of them. (Ironically, the one Speyside distillery Whisky & Wisdom has yet to step inside of is the Speyside Distillery at Drumguish!!). Roseisle, Dalmunach, Mannochmore, Macduff, Strathmill, Ballindalloch, Glenburgie, Allt-a-bhaine, Braeval, Speyburn, Balmenach…..you name it, W&W has been there; met with the staff; and seen around it. Which means we can take a more objective view of what’s on offer and provide a balanced opinion of what appeals or what provides value to the visitor.
However, this piece is not titled “The Top Six distilleries to visit on Speyside” – we’ll save that article for another day. Rather, it’s the top six things to do. The distilleries that are open to the public generally have tours between the hours of 10.00am-4.00pm (in the summer months), and – as you’ll discover, if you haven’t already – trying to schedule your tours and dovetail your visits so that you can sequentially get to multiple distilleries in a day is not the easiest of tasks. This means you’ll have gaps in your day, or you’ll have time to do other things – particularly after the visitor centres close their doors. So here are a few other things to keep you amused: