Top Whisky Distillery Experiences for Dad on Father’s Day

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Image © Phil Ruff via Flickr

Nothing says Dad quite like a quality single malt. Here’s where to enjoy a whisky day out in the UK

Forget the novelty socks and ‘World’s Best Dad’ mug this year, for the whisky loving dad will adore a day out at one of the UK’s top distilleries. From tours to tastings there are plenty of unique whisky experiences across England, Scotland and Wales, offering exciting opportunities to learn about the process of making dad’s favourite drink. Enjoy a cheeky tipple along the way and make sure you’ve got a designated driver to get you home!

Image credit: Glenfiddich via Facebook

The Glenfiddich Distillery

Dufftown Banffshire, AB55 4DH, Scotland

What better place to start than the home of Scotch itself? Scotland takes its whisky production so seriously that it actually has laws regarding its production, and the drink must tick a number of production boxes before it can call itself a Scotch. The earliest recorded date of Scottish whisky production is amazingly 1494, and the household name that is Glenfiddich has been creating the spirit since 1887. Tours of their original working distillery start at £10pp and go right up to £95pp, meaning you’ve got plenty of options for all sorts of whisky fans. Each tour begins with a short introductory film plotting out the history of Glenfiddich’s family ownership and a walking tour of the distillery and still house. Along the way you’ll be invited to try a ‘tutored nosing and tasting’ of three aged whiskies. The in-depth Pioneers Tour will also see you take a 20cl bottle filled from one of the Malt Mater’s speciality casks home, alongside a beautiful commemorative book. End the day in the Malt Barn Bar where you can enjoy some extremely exclusive vintage reserves and whiskies that are no longer in production.

Image credit: Talisker via Facebook

Talisker Distillery

Carbost, Isle of Skye, IV47 8SR

Talisker’s unique smoky and rich whisky is representative of the remote and rugged landscape of its home, the Isle of Skye. A whisky made by the sea, the ‘windswept and wave-smashed’ rural location is expertly bottled and a unique favourite for the more seasoned whisky drinker. This 120-year-old distillery is a must visit attraction, and whilst Isle of Skye might be a bit out of the way, it is in itself a wonderful spot for a short holiday. For £45 you can buy dad a 2-hour tasting tour, which features an in-depth walking tour of the distillery and a tutored tasting of 5 expressions of Talisker. They also offer a £10 45-minute walking tour (which still includes a tipple of Scotch) and is ideal for a larger family group!

Image credit: The English Whisky Co. via Facebook

St George’s Distillery

Harling Road, Roudham, Norfolk, NR16 2QW

Whilst England is less known than Scotland and Ireland for producing expert whisky, The English Whisky Company have been creating the spirit at St George’s distillery since 2006 (with their first batch going on sale in 2009), making it the first English distillery to be opened in over 100 years. The founding Nelstrop family credit the success of their whisky to Norfolk’s amazing rural produce. The county’s amazing crop of barley combined with the quality Breckland water that runs directly underneath the distillery makes for a quality single malt, and is batch made, by hand, in oak casks imported from America. Their popular St Georges tour costs only £12.50 per person and is the starting point of all of their unique distillery experiences. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the production of whisky, as well as the chance to see rows and rows of casks full of aging whisky. For £45pp you can stick around a little longer and enjoy a World Whisky Tour, which includes an extra hour and the chance to enjoy some whiskies from around the world. Rest assured, however, the St George’s tour will see you enjoy a taste of one or two of the companies extra special single malts. You can also make a day of it and enjoy a meal on-site.

Image credit: Cotswolds Distillery via Facebook

Cotswolds Distillery

Phillip’s Field, Shipston-on-Stour, CV36 5HG

Producing quality spirits since 2014, the Cotswolds Distillery is proud to create award-winning whisky, gins and liqueurs using the best of independent produce that the Cotswolds and surrounding areas has to offer. This tiny distillery is lovingly squeezed into a Cotswolds cottage, and you can enjoy a tasting sat by the wood burner alongside a team that live and work in the surrounding village. Eschewing the mainstream corporate distillery experience, Cotswolds Distillery aims to offer you a homemade whisky experience with a luxury three-hour whisky blending masterclass. Whilst this experience will set you back £100 per person, it is most definitely a day out to remember and you will definitely leave with a new founded appreciation of English whisky. Enjoy a whisky cocktail on arrival, before embarking on a tour of the distillery where you’ll learn everything that goes into making the drink. With this knowledge you’ll go on to blend your own bottle, having had a tutorial in how to nose whisky. You’ll take home a 20cl bottle of your own blend as well as a 20cl bottle of Cotswold’s own single malt. Despite being on the pricier side of Father’s Day gifts, it’ll no doubt leave you as dad’s favourite child until at least Christmas.

Image credit: Penderyn Distillery via Facebook​​​​​​​

Penderyn Distillery

Pontpren, Aberdare, CF4 0SX

Penderyn can be found in the picturesque Brecon Beacons National Park and is actually considered to be the world’s smallest distillery. Before Penderyn was established in 2000 whisky hadn’t been produced in Wales since the late 1800s, and their first bottle went on sale in 2004 and established the company as Wales’ first whisky maker in over 100 years. Their whiskies are all Welsh to the very core, with three of their award-winning single malts dedicated to the red dragon that fills the country’s flag. Head to the distillery to enjoy one of three unique whisky experiences this Father’s Day. The one-hour tour of the mill, mash turn, and copper pot stills costs only £9 (per adult) and will end with a tasting session in the distillery bar. You can also attend a Distillery Masterclass, where you’ll receive an in-depth tour and education in whisky production and expert nosing. Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, enjoy a whisky and chocolate tasting, which pairs their spirits with handmade chocolates from the Chocolate House of Pontypridd, and costs only £17 per person.