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7 things to do in Scotland to celebrate Whisky Month

May is Whisky Month in Scotland, so it'd be rude not to enjoy a dram or two

Published: May 4, 2018
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  • This month is Whisky Month, and there's no better time to celebrate our national drink.

If you're a whisky connoisseur, complete beginner or only drink it from time to time, here's our pick of some of the best whisky-related things to enjoy this month.

Visit a whisky bar

Whisky Month

Picture: The Mash Tun


There's plenty of whisky bars all over Scotland but if you're in Speyside, then a trip to the Mash Tun is a must.

Constructed in 1896, the Mash tun was originally the dream of James Campbell, a naval captain, who asked for the building to be designed in the form of a small ship.

Situated on the banks of the River Spey, the bar is run by knowledgeable and friendly staff who will be more than happy to offer advice or even just a chat about our national drink.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the gantry is the Mash Tun’s range of Glenfarclas bottlings, a unique collection of 47 single cask whiskies, with one for each consecutive year from 1952 to 1998. Definitely one to visit when in Aberlour.

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Tour an iconic distillery


Picture: Lagavulin Distillery

Few things are guaranteed to get a whisky fan more giddy than a trip to a distillery.

In Scotland we are spoiled for options when it comes to these wonderful locations- there are more than 50 in the Speyside region alone – and most are readily accessible from our major cities.

From classic tours, to ultimate experiences or whisky and food pairings, each one offers something for all tastes.

Visit a new distillery

Whisky Month

Picture: Torabhaig Distillery on Skye, supplied

There's been a number of new distilleries opening this year, with plenty more in the pipeline.

Some have celebrated their spirit coming of age - such as Kingsbarns Distillery in Fife, whereas others are bringing whisky back to a region or city for the first time in years.

No matter what the story, visiting a new distillery gives you a chance to find out more about the spirit and this growing industry.

On Skye, Torabhaig Distillery’s visitor centre opened to the public last month, marking another milestone for the distillery which began producing spirit for the first time in January last year.

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Watch the 'burning of the bear' in Fife

whisky bear

Picture: the 'burning bear', supplied

On the hill overlooking the still-house at Lindores Abbey Distillery, guests will see an interesting sight – a bear holding a ragged staff, ploughed into the ground.

It is a depiction of the stone statue that was taken from the Abbot’s lodgings at the Abbey during the Reformation.


Each year the outline of the bear is set alight as part of a celebration to remember the past and to toast the coming year’s distillate.

This year’s bear burning event will take place on World Whisky Day, 19 May, between 7pm and midnight, and guests can look forward to good food, plenty of drinks and some ceilidh dancing.

Tickets for general admission are £12.50, with 1494 members of the distillery going free.

Preservation Society Members can enjoy a discounted ticket rate of £10 per person.

Try some new drams

World Whisky Month

Picture: yashima\Flickr

Whether your favourite is peated or you're more of a sherry cask fan, why not try something new?

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World Whisky Month is the perfect opportunity to try a dram or two of a whisky you'd normally not drink, haven't tried yet or haven't even heard of.

Combine whisky and chocolate

Experience a whisky and chocolate tasting this month at the Dalwhinnie Distillery in Perthshire, from £25.

Enjoy sampling and finding out more about six classic single malt whiskies – such as Lagavulin, Talisker and Mortlach – which will all be paired with specially selected Highland chocolates.

After the tastings you can take home a whisky glass and tasting mat.

See the sights on the Malt Whisky Trail

Widely considered to be the most important whisky region due to the fact that over half of all of Scotland’s whisky distilleries are based there, the Malt Whisky Trail allows you to take in no less than seven of them and the famous Speyside cooperage.

Though you can tailor it to suit your needs, Visit Scotland recommend at least three days to do the full tour and in our mind it’s well worth it.

You’ll visit The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glen Moray, Glen Grant, Cardhu, Benromach, Strathisla and the Dallas Dhu historic distilleries.

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