Drinks

6 Whiskey Destinations Worth the Trip

Go straight to the source to see where the magic happens
Best Whiskey Distillery Tours & Travel Ideas
Photo: High West Distilling

Some things in life are worth traveling hundreds, if not thousands, of miles for. By some people's standards, that something is a glass of nice whiskey, and who are we to come between a traveler and a tulip glass? Here are some of our favorite destinations that combine the best of any vacation-worthy place with the world’s finest whiskeys.

High West (Park City, Utah)

What to Drink

Utah has interesting whiskey history when it comes to whiskey that dates back to the 1800s, when it was highly celebrated and produced by the Mormon community as both a medicinal elixir and a means of preserving food that would otherwise spoil. In 2006, High West opened the state’s first legal distillery since 1870, carrying the torch and spicing things up with newfangled products like the latest release of “Bourye” (a bourbon-rye hybrid), beloved by locals and visitors alike. You can experience High West by checking out the Saloon in Park City and by driving out to Wanship to tour the stunning distillery—and eat an epic brunch.

Where to Stay

Montage Deer Valley: You can’t beat the skiing, and there's an impressive range of dining options to refuel.

Slane Irish Whiskey (Slane, Ireland)

What to Drink

Slane’s picture-perfect estate (read: castle) lies just 30 miles north of Dublin, and its distillery tours are second to none. Be sure to take your camera and go hungry: The Garden Room Restaurant and Browne’s Bar are both absolute musts on any visit to this Irish whiskey treasure. You could also get married here if you so desired.

Where to Stay

Tankardstown House: Your suite will feel as though you've stepped into a fairytale, but one equipped with Wi-Fi and an espresso machine.

Westward (Portland, Oregon)

What to Drink

Portland is a drinker's dream from morning to night, as it's home to places like Stumptown Coffee and Westward Whiskey, an American single malt from local  producer House Spirits. Visitors can stop by the tasting room to experience the full portfolio or take a tour of the property, the largest in the Pacific Northwest, for an in-depth look at the production of Westward American single-malt whiskey and its related limited-release small-batch spirits.

Where to Stay

Ace Hotel Portland: This trendy hotel's central location means you're never too far from anything, including the city's many doughnut options. 

BenRiach/Aberlour/Macallan (Speyside, Scotland)

What to Drink

Most of Scotland is straight out of a storybook, and the Speyside whisky region is no exception. Visit BenRiach by booking the Connoisseur’s Tour; you’ll also want to make time to check out the Aberlour Distillery, which offers various experiences ranging from a traditional property tour to a Casks from the Past theme and more. The Macallan distillery is also not to be missed.

Where to Stay

The Craigellachie Speyside: Its famed bar, The Quaich, more than 900 whiskies on-site, making it practically unnecessary to ever leave your armchair once you settle in.

GlenDronach/Glenmorangie (Aberdeenshire and Scottish Highlands, Scotland) 

What to Drink

Aberdeenshire’s Castle Trail is another one of the many reasons to visit Scotland. Rent a car so you can take in the picturesque drive between here and the Highlands. Check out a few castles before stopping off at the GlenDronach distillery for a tour. From there, take the two-hour drive to Tain, where the scenic Glenmorangie Distillery and its equally charming estate await with whisky, a superb dinner and, most importantly, a cozy bed.

Where to Stay

The Glenmorangie House: As the name suggests, it's more "house" than "hotel," and you can spend hours exploring the historic grounds during your comfortable stay.

Yamazaki (Kansai, Japan) 

What to Drink

Japan is becoming known for its whisky production thanks to brands like Nikka and Suntory, which are responsible for some of the greatest (and most interesting) pours in the industry today. Suntory’s Yamazaki, Japan’s first commercial distillery, is set in the heart of Shimamoto and offers both tours and a full museum dedicated to its years of craft.

Where to Stay

Togetsutei: Don't miss out on a relaxing outdoor bath, which looks out over sweeping landscape views.

Céline Bossart is a freelance spirits and travel writer with an affinity for 50/50 gin martinis and Kate Moss anecdotes. Follow her on Instagram at @celineb0ss.

  • High West (Park City, Utah)

    Opened in 2006, High West is Utah's first legal distillery since 1870. 

    Photo: High West

  • High West (Park City, Utah)

    After touring the distillery, stop by the Saloon in Park City. 

    Photo: High West

  • Slane Irish Whiskey (Slane, Ireland)

    The picture-perfect castle is just a short drive from Dublin.

    Photo: Slane Whiskey

  • Arbelour (Speyside, Scotland)

    The scenic, Speyside whisky region of Scotland is home to multiple distilleries, including Arbelour. 

  • Arbelour (Speyside, Scotland)

    Arbelour offers various experiences, ranging from a traditional distillery walk-around to a Casks from the Past tour. 

  • GlenDronach (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

    This distillery conveniently falls along the path of Aberdeenshire's Castle Trail.

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