To quench the public thirst for visiting the places where whiskies are made, distilleries have transformed from merely production facilities to all-out tourist destinations. Many distilling regions have created dedicated whisky trails to help guide travelers along the way. Check out a few of our favorites
Many new places to eat, drink, and stay have blossomed along this trail since its debut in 1999. For those who want to travel by bicycle, the Bluegrass Cycling Club has mapped the safest routes.
Bonus Trails: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour features twenty small distilleries including Willett and Kentucky Peerless, while the Urban Bourbon Trail covers bourbon bars, restaurants, and history in downtown Louisville.
Recommended Touring Time: Four days.
Distilleries: Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Co., Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Jim Beam, Lux Row, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, O.Z. Tyler, Old Forester, Rabbit Hole, Town Branch, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve.
Don’t miss: The Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown, featuring artifacts like authentic moonshine stills and antique bottles dating back to pre-Prohibition.
Recommended Touring Time: About ten days are needed to comfortably traverse the trail from Nashville to Memphis.
Distilleries: Bootleggers, Brushy Mountain, Chattanooga Whiskey, Corsair, Doc Collier, George Dickel, H Clark, Jack Daniel, Knox Whiskey Works, Leiper’s Fork, Nashville Craft, Nelson’s Green Brier, Old Dominick, Old Forge, Old Glory, Ole Smoky, Pennington, PostModern Spirits, Prichard’s, Short Mountain, Southern Pride, Sugarlands, Tenn South, Tennessee Legend, and Old Tennessee Distilling Company.
Don’t miss: The Taste of Lynchburg Tour ($125) includes a guided tour of Jack Daniel Distillery followed by a tasting, and family-style lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House, with their whiskey-laced baked apples.
The world’s only malt whisky trail wends it way through Speyside and includes many of the most iconic names in single malt. At around 70 miles, it’s a manageable driving tour, offering mountain landscapes, golf courses by the sea, and views of the River Spey. Spring and autumn offer quiet roads and colorful landscapes.
Recommended Touring Time: At least three days.
Distilleries: Benromach, Cardhu, Dallas Dhu, Glen Grant, Glen Moray, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Strathisla.
Don’t Miss: The Speyside Cooperage, where casks are refurbished and assembled by skilled workers.
This 250-mile scenic loop around Aberdeen includes everything you’d expect to discover in Scotland—castles, golf, and whisky—as well as many things you might not, like surfing, kayaking, and climbing adventures found along the way.
Recommended Touring Time: Two days to two weeks.
Distilleries: Aberlour, Ballindalloch, Glen Grant, Glenfarclas, Glenglassaugh, and Glenlivet are on the trail, with more nearby for those willing to venture.
Don’t miss: Balmoral Castle; the Queen’s Highland retreat in the heart of Royal Deeside offers an intimate snapshot of the royal family at play.
This comprehensive trail includes numerous whiskey distilleries and museums, dozens of pubs, at least nine choice hotels and restaurants, and the country’s best whiskey shops.
Recommended Touring Time: The trail spans hundreds of miles across Ireland. Customize your own tour with the free app.
Distilleries: Dingle; Jameson Distillery on Bow Street in Dublin, and the Jameson Distillery Experience in Midleton; Kilbeggan Distillery; Tullamore and the Tullamore D.E.W. Visitor Centre; and the Teeling Distillery and Pearse Lyons Distillery, both in Dublin, are open to the public.
Don’t Miss: Kilbeggan Distillery, established in 1757, ceased distilling in 1953, but resumed production decades later and has since evolved into a modern working craft distillery.
With its natural peat bogs and fields of barley, this island state features more than a dozen whisky distilleries, most of which have tours. The majority are striking distance of the capital, Hobart, which also offers superb fly-fishing, rafting, and wine country.
Recommended Touring Time: At least a week, although adventure seekers will have no trouble filling many more days.
Distilleries: Belgrove, Fannys Bay, Hellyers Road, Ironhouse, Lark, McHenry, Nant, Nonesuch, Old Kempton (formerly Redlands), Overeem, Shene Estate, Southern Wild, Spring Bay, Sullivans Cove.
Don’t miss: Hobart’s Salamanca Place buzzes with restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries. The Saturday market includes 300 vendors selling everything from fresh produce to crafts.