May's Whiskies of the Month – Historical Sites

Each month our team come up with their chosen ‘Whiskies of the Month’, and this month they have chosen whiskies from distilleries that are near to historical sites. As the weather gets warmer and Scotland begins to welcome tourists from across the world, if you are visiting one of these distilleries, then why not make the most of your trip by visiting their near by historical location too!

May Whiskies of the month, 5 bottles of whisky with a screen with Castle background and loch
Whiskies of the month - Glasgow 1770 Original with screen in background of Glasgow cityscape

Glasgow 1770 The Original

Glasgow Distillery lies right in the heart of the city, along the river Clyde and is one of the first distilleries to return to the city centre after a 100-year hiatus in distilling. During Britain’s period of industrialisation, Glasgow became a centre for ship-building. Steamships were made from steel and proved far faster and more efficient than the tall ships that came before them.

Dotted along the River Clyde, running through the heart of Glasgow, four cranes are stationed. They are what remains of the old shipyards and now stand silent as they keep their watch over the Clyde. The largest, and most famous, of these cranes is the Finnieston Crane. It was built in 1931, and was used to load trains onto ships, Glasgow’s second largest industry at the time. It remains in working order but stands silent, a relic of intense industrialisation, the driving of change and days gone by.

Whiskies of the month - Tobermory 12yo with screen in background showing field with Highland Coo's

Tobermory 12 year old

Tobermory Distillery sits in the picturesque town of the same name on the Isle of Mull. It’s home to the filming set of Balamory, a children’s TV program aired in the early noughties! Just across the water lies the Island of Iona, the journey to which is a pilgrimage for many a traveller in Scotland.

St. Columba came to Scotland from Ireland in 563, contributing to the spread of Christianity. This is why we see Christian crosses become prominent in Pictish artwork. An Abbey was established on the island and Columba was said to have sat in the Torr an Aba, a hut used as his day room, to write his scriptures. The ruins as we see them today date to the 15th century with a 20th century restoration.

Whiskies of the month - Benromach 15yo with screen in background showing pagoda roof and Autumnal trees

Benromach 15 year old

Benromach Distillery is based in the town of Forres and offers both unpeated and delicately peated expressions. Their aim is to help the world rediscover the lost style of lightly peated Speyside whiskies after they gradually disappeared from the market in favour of a lighter, fruitier style.

Benromach is not the only distillery in Forres, Dallas Dhu lies just a few streets away and is a testament to the long-standing history of whisky making in Scotland. The site is now a living museum meaning that all equipment remains intact, however, it is not in use. Dallas Dhu provides visitors with the opportunity to learn about whisky production during the 20th century, using traditional methods and showcasing the stories of Dallas Dhu’s workers.

Whiskies of the month - Ardbeg Uigeadail bottle with screen in background showing sea, beach, hills.

Ardbeg Uigeadail

On the South coast of Islay, we find some of our most heavily peated malts, one of which is the delicious Ardbeg. The distillery itself was founded in 1815 but finds itself among the most modern of Scotland’s distilleries, consistently pushing the boundaries to create unique and interesting flavours. Did you know that Ardbeg whisky has been sent into space?! The sky really isn’t the limit for Scotch whisky experimentation!

A mere 6 miles from the distillery stands the Kildalton cross.  This is a carved cross that dates to 700 AD and is one of the early signs that Christianity was spreading through Scotland as monks crossed the water from Ireland. Despite being erected over 1200 years ago, it remains standing in its original spot, one of very few of these crosses to do so.

Whiskies of the month - Leith whisky with Forth Bridge in the background

Leith Whisky Legacy 10 year old

Leith Whisky’s Legacy blend honors the great blending history of Leith. Many of the buildings standing near the docks are old warehouses that would have been used for cask storage providing a place for blenders to work their magic, creating delicious, blended Scotch whisky.

As Edinburgh’s port, Leith became a hub for whisky blending and exports, allowing access to the sea. Trinity House is a Georgian style building in the heart of Leith, just north of Edinburgh city centre. It was home to the Incorporation of Mariners and Shipmasters who gathered the dues from the port. The site allows visitors to wander from room to room, discovering the rich history of Leith’s maritime past and boasts a wealth of artifacts to see.

Bottle of Spey whisky with Cooperage in background showing lots of barrels

Spey Royal Choice

Speyside Distillery is nestled in the foothills of the Cairngorms, near the town of Kingussie. King George III was gifted a cask of Scotch whisky by Lord Byron in 1815 to celebrate the King’s presence at his wedding festivities. It is widely believed that this cask was SPEY whisky, giving the distillery a royal connection.

The nearby Ruthven Barracks were built by King George I’s army around 1720, in the midst of the Jacobite uprising. It could house 120 soldiers, however, was unlikely to have ever been at capacity. Following their defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, the Jacobite army awaited word of Bonnie Prince Charlie whilst regrouping at the barracks.