This is malt whisky country, and everywhere you go you’ll find local people who are eager to share their passion and knowledge for Scotland’s national drink. There is no better place to luxuriate in the full Scotch malt whisky experience than in one of the world-leading whisky centres located along the Malt Whisky Trail.

Whisky bars

The Malt Whisky Trail isn’t just a great place to see Scotch malt whisky being made, it’s the best place in the world to indulge your passion and enjoy the fruits of the local distilleries. The Malt Whisky Trail is home to whisky bars which are known the world over – global icons with unrivalled collections of some of Speyside’s finest malts.

On the road from The Glenlivet to the north, in the village of Aberlour, you’ll find the Mash Tun. A homely whisky bar housed in an old stone round house on the banks of the River Spey, ‘The Mash’ is firmly established as a local and global favourite for homely fayre and a wide collection of whisky. The Dowans Hotel, at the north-bound entrance to Aberlour, is home to a 500-strong collection of whiskies in ‘The Still’ – a contemporary whisky snug.

Further up the road, looking over the Telford Bridge, is the Craigellachie Hotel‘s world-renowned Quaich bar. Refurbished with sumptuous Edwardian fixtures and boasting a handsome collection of rare old malts from the length of the Malt Whisky Trail, the Quaich has garnered a reputation as a once-in-a-lifetime whisky experience.

To the north of Craigellachie, in Rothes, the Station Hotel’s ‘Spirit Safe’ lounge plays host to more than 300 whiskies. And at the top of the Trail, in Elgin, the Drouthy Cobbler cafe/bar features a curated whisky list served by a knowledgeable staff. ‘The Drouthy’, as it is known, is a local favourite – set with exposed stone walls, rustic wood, and local tweed furnishings.

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Whisky shops

As you travel the Malt Whisky Trail and begin to open your palette to the variety of whisky produced here, you’ll want to keep on discovering long after you leave Moray Speyside. Retail outlets along the Trail are staffed by local people who are eager to share their knowledge with you, and advise you on purchases to best suite your tastes.

In Elgin, the historic Gordon & Macphail shop is an essential stop-over for any connoisseur looking to take a little crate of Speyside home. The shop – which is run by the family-owned independent bottler – has been a fixture on Elgin’s South Street since 1895, and now houses an array of Scotch malt whisky, including some very rare and even exclusive bottles.

Further south in Dufftown, the Whisky Shop offers a selection of over 600 whiskies in the heart of the historic whisky town. The Whisky Shop staff are on hand all year round to advise on the right bottle to take home.

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The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Held annually during the first long weekend in May, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival invites visitors to celebrate Scotland’s national drink through an inventive and wide-ranging programme of whisky-inspired events – some educational, all of them fun.

A whisky-lover’s paradise…

The festival is one of the largest of it’s kind, and attracts huge crowds from across the world who share a passion for Scotch malt whisky. With events of all shapes and sizes taking place across the Malt Whisky Trail, the Spirit of Speyside festival is one of the best ways to experience the Trail and immerse yourself in the world of whisky.

To find out more about the festival, and plan your visit for next year, click here.