New! Premium Speyside Whisky Tour
Stay in a private mansion and visit leading distilleries in Speyside 25 - 28 April 2020 (£1,050pp)
Think of single malt whisky then think of Speyside! Centred around the River Spey half of all Scottish distilleries are based in this superb region of Scotland. Famous names like Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Macallan sit alongside smaller, artisanal producers and all have their own individual style. We will be staying in a beautiful private mansion near Forres, where we will have a very special, professionally catered dinner with matching whiskies the first evening – think of it as a private houseparty. We will explore several distilleries, learn about the fascinating process of making single malts and taste more than a few drams. We will even visit a cooper who make the all-important barrels used for ageing the spirit. If you’re a malt whisky lover you won’t want to miss this tour!
Day 1: Saturday 25th April
Meet at Inverness airport at 11.10 (to coincide with the Easyjet flight from London Luton). Group transfer by coach to Lossiemouth overlooking the ocean (1 hour) where we will have free time for lunch. The first steps in making whisky involve creating a strong beer and so to better understand this process, our first visit will be to the Windswept Brewery where we will have a tour and tasting of several beers. Continuing to Forres we visit Dallas Dhu distillery, which has been turned into a museum where we can step back in time to see and hear how whisky was made in the 1900s. Late afternoon we check into the private mansion, our base for the next 3 nights.
On our first evening together, we will enjoy a very special whisky and food matching multi-course dinner. A whisky expert will present a tutored tasting of 5 Speyside whiskies from distilleries which are not open for tours. This will be accompanied by a 5-course dinner prepared by a professional chef.
Day 2: Sunday 26th April
Today we head to south Speyside where we visit Glenlivet in the town of the same name. Here we will have a tour and tasting followed by lunch in their café. In the afternoon we will visit Cragganmore distillery, whose 14-year old whisky is part of the Classic Malts collection, for a tour and tasting. Free evening to visit one of the restaurants in Forres or perhaps order a take-away and relax ‘at home’.
Day 3: Monday 27th April
This morning we head back to Speyside and visit the Speyside Cooperage to experience first-hand the art of barrel-making. We continue to Macallan for a tour and tasting in their remarkable contemporary distillery, followed by lunch in their brasserie. In the afternoon we will have a tour and tasting at Aberlour distillery. Free evening.
Day 4 Tuesday 28th April
This morning after breakfast we say farewell to Dalvey House and drive to Elgin for a brief stop at Gordon & Macphail, the famous whisky bottlers. It’s a short walk from there to Glen Moray distillery where we will have a tour followed by lunch in their café. Early afternoon we head back to Forres for a tour at Benromach distillery. Late afternoon, maybe after a last dram or two in a local pub, we drive back to Inverness airport in time for the Easyjet flight to London Luton which departs at 20.40.
SPIRIT OF SPEYSIDE FESTIVAL: The 21st series of this major whisky festival runs from 29th April to 4th May, so you may like to extend your stay in the region to take part in the many activities during this celebration of whisky. The Festival programme will be on their website on Friday 7th February 2020 and tickets will go on sale at 12 noon GMT on Wednesday 12th February. The 2019 programme provides an idea of the range of events taking place.
Please note that flights are not included in the cost of the tour so you will need to book your own travel to/from Inverness airport. The recommended group flights are with Easyjet:
• Saturday 25th April EZY 153 departs London Luton 09.40 arrives Inverness 11.10
• Tuesday 28th April EZY 156 departs Inverness 20.40 arrives London Luton 22.05
Transfers by coach to/from Inverness airport are included and will tie in with the above flights. If you make alternative travel arrangements you will need to be at Inverness airport in time to meet the Easyjet flight on 25th April. The tour will end at Inverness airport around 19.00 on 28th April.Travel throughout the tour will be in a comfortable, air-conditioned midi-coach.
Dalvey House is a magnificent Adam-style Georgian Mansion dating back to the 1770s. Set in well maintained grounds, with a front lawn surrounded by woodland, the house takes centre stage and is a stunning retreat. Please note that, due to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and layout of the accommodation, two people sharing a double or twin room will have priority for the en-suite rooms. Therefore, if you are a single traveller, we cannot guarantee en-suite facilities. If you select this option in the booking form we will let you know whether or not this option is available.
• £1050 per person sharing a double or twin room.
• 3 nights’ accommodation at Dalvey House with daily breakfast provided by a caterer
• Collection from and return to Inverness Airport, and private transport by Midi-Coach throughout the tour
• A welcome gala dinner at Dalvey House with a 5 course food and whisky matching presented by a local expert and catered by a professional cook
• 3 lunches at distilleries or local restaurants
• Tours and tastings at 7 distilleries, planned to be Dallas Dhu, Cragganmore, Macallan, Aberlour, Benromach, Glenlivet and Glen Moray
• Tour & tasting at Windswept Brewery
• Tour at the Speyside cooperage
• Services of Criterion Wine tour guide
• £150 single supplement with en-suite or private bathroom (if available)
• £100 single supplement with shared bathroom
A deposit of £262.50 is payable when booking, and the balance is due two months before departure. Your money is fully protected and will be held in a secure Trust Account. Places are limited to just 12 people so please e-mail us to register your interest in this tour and request a booking form.
Please Note: Hertfordshire Wine School is acting as an Agent for Criterion Wine Limited. The contract for the tour is between you and Criterion Wine Limited. For Terms & Conditions - please see the Booking Form.
Payment will be made to Criterion Wine Limited in accordance with the conditions on their Booking Form.