So the chance to kick back with a wee dram of this world-famous elixir in its homeland is something really quite special.
There are more than enough opportunities for whisky tours and tastings where you can completely immerse yourself in this legendary libation.
May 2016 has been designated Whisky Month and while there are only a couple of weeks left until the end of the month, whisky tasting and distillery visits are available all year round.
Here in our area of central Scotland there are several whisky distilleries all within a reasonable distance and all worth a visit if you are interested in the history and making of Scotch whisky.
Glenturret Distillery (Home to The Famous Grouse Experience)
Glenturret, dating back to 1775, is Scotland's oldest distillery, and has some fascinating early links with smugglers. It is perhaps best known for housing the Famous Grouse Experience, where you can learn about how Scotland's most famous blend is made. You can even see the world's largest bottle of whisky here, containing 228 litres of The Famous Grouse. You can learn about the Glenturret Single Malt, with tours to suit all levels of whisky enthusiasts. The Glenturret Café and Bar is also worth a visit.
Edradour is one of the smallest distilleries in Scotland, and prides itself on producing whisky in the most traditional and authentic way possible. Its impressive single malt collection encompasses a variety of flavours and finishes, including the rich and fruity whiskies in their Classics collection, the Ballechin Heavily Peated range and wine matured expressions. Guided tours cost £7.50, and you can see the traditional equipment that produces all of Edradour's stunning single malts, from the smallest whisky still in Scotland to the traditional worm tubs.
Aberfeldy Distillery (Dewar's World of Whisky)
The Dewar family started making what is now the bestselling blended Scotch in the US over 160 years ago. The distillery was set up not far from where founder John Dewar was born. As well as fine and complex single malts, most of the whisky made at Aberfeldy has been used in Dewar's renowned blends. White Label, created in 1899 by AJ Cameron, is its most famous blend. The distillery forms part of the Dewar's World of Whisky attraction, one of Scotland's best and most visited whisky heritage visitor centres.
Visit the Deanston Distillery to learn about their light, fresh whisky and fascinating heritage. On the banks of the River Teith, the beautiful buildings that are home to Deanston Distillery were built in 1785 and originally housed a thriving cotton mill. The mill closed in 1965, but the buildings were given a new lease of life in 1967, following the opening of the distillery. Tours, covering everything from crafting the malts to Deanston's heritage, range from £8 to £30.
This brewery in the Perthshire countryside, dating back to 1488, was converted into a distillery in 1949. By the base of the rolling Ochil Hills, it makes use of natural filtering which occurs as water trickles down through basalt and red sandstone to Danny Burn. Much of the whisky is still matured in traditional sherry casks. Taste for toffee, apples and cereal with hints of vanilla, dates and spices. Characteristically sweet, Tullibardine whisky is now also available matured in bourbon barrels and also finished with Burgundy.
Described as a micro-distillery, Strathearn operates in a converted 160-year-old farmstead in the lush Perthshire countryside. Opened in 2013 by enthusiasts Tony Reeman-Clark, David Lang and David Wight, it produces whisky as well as gin and speciality ales. It is perhaps one of the only distilleries in Scotland that offers tours alongside whisky and gin-making courses. The courses range from one-day whisky or gin-making experiences to five-day whisky-making schools where participants get hands-on experience of producing new-make spirit from grain to glass.
For more information on all whisky distilleries across Scotland visit the Visit Scotland website at https://www.visitscotland.com/see-do/food-drink/whisky/tours-tastings/
If you are planning a holiday here in one of our self-catering holiday cottages why not take in a visit to one, or more, of the local whisky distilleries. If you are driving some of the tours provide you with containers in which to bring your tasting drams home where you can enjoy them at your leisure.