Here are 6 of the best castles with distilleries - plus upcoming projects including Midhope Outlander’s Lallybroch 

With the news that plans have been submitted for Inveraray Castle distillery, we take a look at other castles you can visit which have distilleries.

Published 12th Jun 2024
Updated 12 th Jun 2024

It’s a classic tourism combination, a castle with a good tearoom, but what about a castle with a distillery?

With the ongoing popularity of whisky and gin, many castles have diversified to include on-site distilling.

Others are harking back to the past, in which large estates had their own distillery or brewery in the grounds.

A few Scottish castles - including Midhope, Outlander’s Lallybroch and Inveraray - have planning applications in place. While you’re waiting to visit these, here are some other castles with distilleries.

Torrisdale Castle, Kintyre

castles with distilleries
Picture: Torrisdale Castle, Kintyre

Home of Beinn an Tuirc Distillers, who make a range of gins including Kintrye Gin, this castle and its surrounding estate is a tranquil spot to visit.

The Kintyre gin hails from the highest peak in Kintyre, Beinn An Turc (Gaelic for the Hill of the Black Boar) and a small sustainable distillery on the Torrisdale Castle Estate.

Their small German still is used to create Kintyre gin using 12 botanicals including the distinctive Icelandic moss and sheep sorrel to make a rich earthy and floral gin.

The team also hosts tours and a gin school, plus there’s a cafe on site where you can enjoy lunch and excellent coffee.

For visitors looking to stay, the estate has a range of self catering accommodation such as  cottages, bothies and a castle apartment.

Dornoch Castle, Dornoch

castles with distilleries
Dornoch Castle Hotel Picture: Contributed

Located in Sutherland, Dornoch Castle Hotel is within easy reach of a number of leading whisky distilleries in the North Highlands, such as Balblair, Glenmorangie and Dalmore, and also has its own award-winning whisky bar.

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The historic and atmospheric abode is also home to a micro distillery, which is located in the old fire house that was built in 1881.

Brothers Simon and Phil Thompson have created their own gin and an ‘old style’ whisky.

Hensol Castle, Wales

castles with distilleries
Picture: Hensol Castle

For those visiting Wales, the cellars of this picture perfect castle are home to Wales’ first full scale gin distillery - making Welsh Gin - a visitor experience, gin school and contract bottling plant.

The 17th Century castle is an ideal spot for a day trip. Steeped in history, it can also be booked for weddings. Or why not pop in for afternoon tea?

Slane Castle, Ireland

Famous for huge concerts and as the venue where Bryan McFadden married Kerry Katona, Slane Castle is also home to the Slane Irish whiskey distillery.

Open Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm, the distillery has tours, a gift shop and serves cocktails at the Stalls Bar.

A trip here is ideal for a weekend, where you can enjoy the parkland estate and River Boyne.

Midhope, South Queensferry

outlander castle distillery
Picture: Shutterstock

Back in 2021 we reported that Midhope Castle, known as Lallybroch to Outlander fans, was granted planning permission for a distillery to be built in the grounds.

The plans, which were approved on 13 April, show the site will include a 2850sqm distillery building, service buildings, landscaping, an access road and parking.

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As well as building a distillery, the plans include details on restoring the castle, which is currently an empty shell, to eventually include visitor accommodation.

So far, there hasn’t been any update on the plans but they do seem still active, with a biodiversity statement and Historic Environment Scotland report submitted to the local council in recent weeks. 

It is thought that works may begin on the plans later this year or next year as nothing can be done to the site while Outlander is still being filmed.

This is a big project, and one that’s sure to bring in many visitors once it opens, so watch this space.

Inveraray castle, Argyll and Bute

It was reported this month that that famous Inveraray Castle in the picturesque town may soon be home to a distillery.

Plans were submitted in June for a £25M malt whisky distillery at Inveraray Castle, seat of the Duke of Argyll, who is Chief of Clan Campbell. It will be named Inveraray Distillery and, once completed, it will create more than 20 local jobs.

Clan Campbell is a blended Scotch whisky and the plan is to produce a single malt

whisky in Inveraray Distillery which could also be used in the Clan Campbell blend.

Clan Campbell is one of the leading Scotch whisky brands in France and is also available in other European markets. 

In total it sells 1.2 million 9 litre cases in Europe. It has been recently launched in Germany and the Czech Republic with further plans to offer it to consumers in other countries. The brand was acquired by Stock Spirits Group from Pernod Ricard in 2023.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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