Scotland Pours It On With New Distilleries And Experiences

August 13, 2019

The world’s largest producer of whiskey and gin is evolving

Scotland has been known for its Scotch for centuries. Now to add to its accolades, the land of kilts, bagpipes and haggis has become the world’s largest producer of Gin. For business meetings, conventions and events, companies and delegates now have more choice than ever in distillery tours, tastings and festivals.

Scotland has been home to many of the world’s best-selling Gin brands such as Gordon’s, Tanqueray and Hendricks for decades. But recently, Scottish gin has tipped the market to a whole new level. There are over 50 producers in total and more in the wings, some creating exquisite artisan varieties utilizing natural and locally sourced organics. For example, a small-batch distillery called Edinburgh Gin has two pot stills quaintly nicknamed ‘Flora’ and ‘Caledonia.’

This emerging market has also taken hold in Scotland’s hotels with Gin bars aplenty to welcome the weary guest. The exquisite Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh carries over 100 Gins at its One Square Bar for testing your palate.

Get help navigating to various Gin distilleries by consulting the Gin Map and read about upcoming Scottish Gin events.

Alongside Gin, Scotland has over 100 distilleries. So it’s no wonder many businesses choose to have their events or meetings where the amber spirit penetrates almost every corner of the country. It has long been touted there is a perfect whiskey for anyone. Why not take a pilgrimage to find yours, while discovering the charm of Scotland’s culture and history on your next business event. Perhaps it’s a private tour at a whiskey distillery or a tasting event that becomes part of your incentive program.

The setting and possibilities are endless. Enjoy a dram in an ancient historic castle. Visit a private vault to take a tasting master class with a distiller. Attend a festival like the Inverness Whiskey and Gin Festival or the Highland Whiskey Festival. Some distilleries provide the opportunity to blend your very own whisky, attach your corporate label and bring it home for a rich reminder of Scotland.

New distilleries on the scene

With lovely views over Ardgowan Estate and the Firth of Clyde, the Ardgowan Distillerywill break ground soon. The site has been inhabited for over 4,000 years with strong historic and royal associations. The distillery will produce a peated full-flavoured smoky single malt, a lightly peated double-distilled ‘coastal’ malt, and an unpeated flagship lowland-style malt with light, floral and delicate notes. They will also produce a blended malt.

Islay is considered ‘Scotland’s Whiskey Island.’ With the recent opening of Ardnahoe Distillery, whisky distilleries on the island now number nine in total. Sitting between Bunnahabhainn and Caol Ila distilleries, it overlooks the beautiful Sound of Islay. Ardnahoe will distill a classic peated style Islay malt, using the finest barley and water from Loch Ardnahoe itself. Stunning views and fine spirits collide for an exceptional experience.

Speyside’s newest distillery, Cabrach, is set to open in autumn 2019, when ‘The Cabrach’ single malt will flow once again – 150 years on from when whisky was last distilled here. Founded as a distillery and heritage centre by The Cabrach Trust, the distillery will create captivating whiskies in the glass-fronted refurbished and historic Inverharroch Steadings. Drop into The Heritage Centre to learn about the early days of farm distilling, illicit whisky production and smuggling.

FALKIRK DISTILLERY- Scheduled to open late 2019
Complementing the town’s three renowned visitor attractions (Callendar House, The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies), Falkirk Distillery is just a short walk from magnificent Callendar House and is due to open to visitors in the latter part of 2019. The distillery will produce a triple-distilled revival of Rosebank single malt, last produced in the town in 1993.

Holyrood Distillery, in the heart of Edinburgh, is now welcoming visitors for tours and tastings. It has been almost 100 years since single malt whisky was produced in the city. Visitors will enjoy a robust hands-on sensory visitor experience, as the new distillery is housed in a carefully re-furbished 180 year old B-listed building and promises to be quite a draw.

Complementing their distillery in the north of the island at Lochranza, Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd have opened their second site at Lagg, on Arran’s southern tip. The Lagg Distillery produces a more heavily-peated style of single malt, distinct from its northern counterpart. Visitors can experience distillery tours, tastings and a choice of restaurant or café dining, all with fine views over the coast to the south and the hills to the north.

GLENWYVIS DISTILLERY - Opened January 2018
Whiskey from GlenWyvis Distillery began production in January 2018,  just in time to commemorate Robert Burns’ birth in 1759. Excellent unpeated single malt whiskies will be ready to drink in 2021. The whiskies will be created using only local barley and matured in bourbon, refill bourbon and sherry casks. The distillery also produces GoodWill gin, which is known for its initial notes of orange and lemon, with the warmth of coriander and cinnamon following.

The new Macallan distillery is innovative and impressive, designed with the visitor experience central to its development. It opened in Moray Speyside on June 2018. Part of the visitor experience is Eat@TheMacallan, which offers the finest Scottish produce with a twist. Inspiration comes from the Roca brothers, who run the twice-voted best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.

This global leader with an outstanding collection of spirits is investing £150 million over the next three years to transform its Scotch whisky visitor experiences into the biggest concerted program ever seen in Scotland’s whisky tourism sector. The Johnnie Walker Immersive Visitor Experience will feature a multi-sensory, immersive visitor experience spread across three floors offering: space for music, theatre, arts and community events; a training academy that will be home to Diageo’s Learning for Life programme; rooftop access to views across the city; and retail space at street level, inspired by the Johnnie Walker flagship retail store in Madrid, Spain. This is in addition to the £35 million already committed to re-open the ‘lost distilleries’ of Port Ellen and Brora, bringing the number of Diageo’s distilleries with specialist visitor experiences in Scotland to 14.

Also, Douglas Laing are currently developing their Clutha Distillery in Glasgow, which they hope to open in 2020. Whilst over on the east coast, a John Crabbie & Co gin and whisky micro-distillery at Granton Harbour in Edinburgh is planned. Plans for the innovatively designed Port of Leith vertical distillery, which will sit alongside Ocean Terminal, are also taking shape.

Further south, the Borders will see continued growth in whisky production. R & B’s second distillery (complementing their site on Raasay) is coming to Peebles and Mossburn Distillers Ltd, continue to develop their Reivers Distillery in Jedburgh.

Learn more about Scotland’s whisky distilleries using this Whisky Map and FREE whisky distilleries eBook.

Wherever you choose to go in Scotland, there will be countless opportunities to have a refined and tasteful visit, alongside delectable choices from world class menus. Give your business associates these inspiring and memorable experiences that go a long way to push along further achievement.

About VisitScotland

VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organization. Its core purpose is to maximize the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland. VisitScotland’s Business Events team drives meeting and incentive business and generates more than $800 million in revenue annually for the country. For information about business tourism in Scotland—press releases, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions—go to

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