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Barging in Scotland: Caledonian Canal

Scottish Whisky Trail Barge Cruise

SCOTTISH WHISKY TRAIL BARGE CRUISE  - Scottish Highland Caledonian Canal Barge Whisky Trail Cruise

The hotel barges Scottish Highlander and Spirit of Scotland both offer a Whisky Trail cruise along the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness. This special itinerary allows whisky lovers to visit several long-established distilleries to find out more about how Scotland’s favorite export is produced, as well as the opportunity to taste it. A Whisky Trail cruise does not incur a special supplement.

And, for added interest on this cruise through this beautiful part of the Highlands, there will also be optional visits to historic sites such as Eilean Donan, one of Scotland’s most photographed castles, the famous battlefield of Culloden Moor, and the ruins of Urquhart Castle in a spectacular setting overlooking Loch Ness.

This Whisky Trail cruise is perfect for single malt whisky enthusiasts, whether tasting the liquid nectar at any of the distilleries visited, or partaking of a wee dram or two from the many whiskies available aboard your chartered barge.

Dalwhinnie Distillery

DALWHINNIE DISTILLERY  - Scottish Highland Caledonian Canal Barge Whisky Trail Cruise

The Dalwhinnie Distillery is home to a famous Highland Single Malt Whisky renowned for its gentle flavors accentuated with notes of heather honey, citrus, vanilla and sweet malt. The site of the distillery was chosen for its access to clear spring water and abundant peat from the surrounding bogs. Set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, Dalwhinnie is the highest distillery in Scotland at 1164 feet above sea level. The name Dalwhinnie is derived from the Gaelic language, meaning “meeting place”, referring to the meeting of ancient cattle drovers’ routes through the mountains.

Not only will you experience a fascinating tour, but there is also a tasting that matches several single malts with different chocolates. A perfect combination.

Tomatin Distillery

TOMATIN DISTILLERY  - Scottish Highland Caledonian Canal Barge Whisky Trail Cruise

The Tomatin Distillery stands proud in the wild and windy moorland of the Monadhliath Mountains and has been harnessing the soft waters of the Alt-na-Frith, or Free Burn, to produce quality single malt and blended whisky. This area of stunning natural beauty has rich whisky making traditions dating back to at least the 1500s.

In 1892, it was announced that the final route of the Highland Railway would pass through Tomatin. John MacDougall, a local man born and bred in Tomatin, began planning his distillery. He registered the Tomatin Spey District Distillery in June 1897. Since then, it has changed hands several times over the years. In 1997, the prestigious Antiquary blend was added to its portfolio. Tomatin’s single malt range has been widened in terms of age statements and they introduced a peated variant, Cu Bocan.

Recently, Tomatin proudly announced their latest product accolades from the prestigious 2022 IWSC awards, including the Gold Outstanding award.

Benromach Distillery

BENROMACH DISTILLERY  - Scottish Highland Caledonian Canal Barge Whisky Trail Cruise

This distillery has been making Benromach since 1898. Benromach is Speyside’s smallest distillery and is on the outskirts of the ancient market town of Forres. They produce around 150,000 liters of alcohol per year.

Just two experienced distillers passionately hand-craft Benromach using the finest Scottish barley and the purest spring water from the nearby Romach Hills. They personally ensure that only the highest quality spirit is filled into sturdy oak casks before being left to mature at Benromach for many years. Only when it has matured to their highest quality standards do they bottle it and proudly label it—Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Benromach Distillery recorded an incredible result at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, winning three Double Gold medals. A Double Gold medal is an accolade only given to a whisky if the judging panel unanimously awards it a Gold rating and considers it to be among the finest in the world.

Glen Ord Distillery

GLEN ORD DISTILLERY  - Scottish Highland Caledonian Canal Barge Whisky Trail Cruise

The Glen Ord Distillery is the home of Singleton, a delicious single malt whisky. The Black Isle, the area north of Inverness where Glen Ord is located, is famed as being one of the finest sources of barley in all of Scotland. Singleton of Glen Ord is the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle.

Clan MacKenzie has featured heavily in the history and development of the Glen Ord distillery. King Alexander III of Scotland granted the land on which the distillery sits to the MacKenzie family as early as 1263. Thomas Mackenzie founded Glen Ord distillery in 1838. It is from this famous Scottish clan that the distillery adopts its motto, Luceo non uro, meaning “I shine not burn”.

The distillery has changed hands many times over the years and suffered many closings, as have other distilleries, because of war and renovations. Today, Glen Ord is Diageo’s fourth largest distillery in Scotland.


Glen Ord Distillery - Whisky Trail Barge Cruises in Scotland (1:56)

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