Breweries and Distilleries of Scotland
June 14 - 25, 2017
Discover the soul of Scotland on this late autumn adventure to the Scottish hinterlands in search of real ale and the world's finest malt whiskies. Explore two Islands, the Highlands, Speyside and a bit of gritty Glasgow. Each area features quintessential Scottish landscapes, local color, rich history, and fine breweries and distilleries. The trip begins on the island of Islay and ends in Glasgow. Start with three nights on Islay as we explore the island, its unique whiskies, and Islay's only brewery. Next, we'll travel to Skye with a notable stop or two along the way. Two days to explore here are followed by 2 two-night stays in Inverness and Pitlochry, putting us in striking distance of a wide variety of interesting historic sites, breweries and distilleries. Plenty of scenery and enough exposure to the fickle Scottish weather to make whisky and beer taste even better. Toss in fine meals in cozy, traditional settings, a couple of focused tastings, fine hotels, Scottish hospitality, and a group of like minded travelers and you have a great adventure! You should come along.
Wednesday - Depart the US, bound the Glenegedale Airport on the island of Islay.
Thursday - Upon arrival -- on what must be the finest whisky island in the world -- transfer to our hotel in lovely Bowmore a Georgian village well situated in the center of the island. A welcome dinner accompanied by the local, CAMRA-endorsed Islay ales is followed by a short introduction to Islay whiskies.
Friday - Today we'll dive right in - touring the island, and visiting Ardbeg distillery in the morning and Islay Ales after a fine Scottish lunch. Spectacular island scenery and many a glimpse at traditional island life await in between our visits. Overnight and evening free in Bowmore.
Saturday - The morning is free to explore the Georgian city of Bowmore or perhaps take a scenic walk along the coast. After lunch we'll head to the Bruichladdich for a visit and thorough tasting. After our tour, explore the quaint fishing village of Port Charlotte with its Museum of Island Life. The evening is free for a pub dinner and perhaps a few sips of some "untried" whiskies. Overnight in Bowmore.
Sunday - This morning we'll transfer to Port Ellen for our ferry ride back to the Mull of Kintyre. We'll meet our coach upon arrival and drive along the coast stopping for a local pub lunch in scenic surroundings. We'll eat lunch and taste the local beers, before continuing northwest through some very beautiful country to the Isle of Skye, where we'll spend two nights. Evening free upon arrival in Portree -- King's Harbor in gaelic.
Monday - A full day with a local guide to explore Skye's excellent mountain and coastal scenery, strange geologic formations as well as the Isle of Skye Brewery and the Talikser Distillery. We'll have a pub lunch along the way. Evening free for a pub crawl and sing-song in Portree.
Tuesday - This morning is free, before we make our way to infamous Inverness. Upon arrival, we'll check in to our hotel and enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore this fabled capital of the Scottish Highlands. Spend the next two nights in Inverness. After our beer dinner tonight, a pub crawl will likely occur.
Wednesday - Today we'll visit Black Isle Brewery in the morning, stop for lunch swing over to Dufftown and the The Glenfiddich Distillery in the afternoon. We will have a tour followed by samplings of a few of their fine malts at the highest distillery in Scotland. Return to Inverness this evening.
Thursday - Today we will drive south towards Pitlochry with 2 visits along the way. First stop is the Cairngorm Brewery for a visit and tasting, followed by a pub lunch. Continue this afternoon to the Dalwhinnie Distillery, for a tour and a taste. We'll spend the next 2 nights in lovely Pitlochry.
Friday - Most of the day is free until our afternoon distillery and brewery visits. Eradour occupies a beautiful setting in the hills above Pitlochry, and is Scotland's smallest distillery. The Moulin Brewery makes a fine selection of CAMRA endorsed ales.
Saturday - Board our bus once more this morning, en route to the New Alloa Brewery, producers of original Scottish Ales, using heather and other traditional, regional ingredients. Continue to Glasgow for our final night. We'll celebrate the successful survival of our trip with a farewell dinner and a wee pub crawl in Glasgow.
Sunday - Alas, it is time to leave malt heaven. Transfers to the airport are easily arranged.
Trip Price Includes
10 nights accommodation in fine, centrally located hotels, travel by private coach, ferry and public transportation, brewery and distillery visits with beer or whisky tasting, entrance fees and tours as outlined in the itinerary, all breakfasts, 3 dinners, 5 lunches, and trip leadership.
Airfare is not included in the trip price.
Air Travel is not included. Travelers are encouraged to use mileage awards, travel outside group dates, or visit other European cities while abroad to make the most out of the trip. Please contact us to inquire about low fares from your city. Please confirm the trip's operation before purchasing air tickets.
The trip officially begins at the first hotel, specific details including a map to the hotel, regional information and a detailed will be included with your trip documents, which you'll receive 2 - 3 weeks before the trip.
How we get around: For all included excursions and visits, transportation will be included as well. Within the cities, we will rely on walking and public transportation. Travel between city and city will be done in our private motor coach and/or by rail.
For Registration and Policies & Details: Click Here.
The overall style of the trip is best suited for somewhat adventurous, beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned events and excursions will, for the most part, be informal. Guided touring is generally the exception, though travelers can always rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.
* Please note also:
This itinerary is subject to change based on brewery or hotel availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense or bad weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good or better than what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!