Speyside is arguably the most famous of Scotland's whisky regions, home to remarkable whisky distilleries near Inverness that any whisky lover would only dream of visiting. The area itself is breathtaking to set your eyes upon, with a valley of glistening rivers, secluded glens and over half of Scotland’s distilleries.
Taste the sensational flavours of Speyside’s finest malts at Inverness distilleries, as you take the world-famous whisky trail from Dallas Dhu to Dalwhinnie. With our boutique hotel in Nairn as an accommodation base, you could indulge in a luxurious Highland break with some of the most loved distilleries just a short drive away.
1. Royal Brackla Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 10 min drive/4.8 miles
This distillery closest to Inverness has produced its own maltings facility up until 1966. Just 4.8 miles from Nairn and 14 from Inverness, this distillery has a truly unique and insightful history.
Before the malt was slightly peated, but now it’s from a more industrial source in Speyside. Royal Brackla was given its name back in 1835 and was granted a royal warrant by King William IV, which is a rarity for a distillery.
2. Benromach Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 18 min drive/10.8 miles
This distillery near Inverness was founded in 1898 in the charming village of Forres, and is now owned by a traditional family of experienced whisky lovers. Producing the finest handmade whisky, with subtle smokey flavourings, hand made from just barley, water and yeast.
The distillery offers three insightful tours to the public where you can see first hand the love and dedication that goes into the making of the whisky. Finishing with a sampling of its unique flavours.
3. Dallas Dhu Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 19 min drive/11.5 miles
This Speyside distillery was in production from 1899 all the way through to 1983. Although it is no longer operational at a distillery, it offers an extremely unique audio-guided experience that takes you through the production of whisky throughout the 1900s. At the end, you can test your knowledge with a fact-finding quiz and sample a free dram of Dallas Dhu whisky.
4. Glen Moray Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 31 min drive/21.7 miles
Located just outside of Elgin, a 31 minute drive from Nairn or 1 hour from Inverness, Glen Moray offers the unique opportunity of seeing how whisky used to be made, usually guided by one of the workers themselves. The distillery in the heart of Speyside has been in production for more than 120 years, therefore enthuses rich heritage and continues to inspire Scotch whisky today.
At the Visitor Centre you can then enjoy a whisky tasting Inverness Scotland experience and sample the spicy, rich and smooth aromas of Glen Moray whiskies.
5. Glen Ord Whisky Distillery
Location: Black Isle
Distance from Nairn: 38 min drive/27.6 miles
This whisky distillery near Inverness dates all the way back to 1838, and is the only producer of single malt whisky in the Black Isle. On top of the impressive historic exterior, Glen Ord exclusively exports their aged single malt to South Asia, making your visit extra special as it's one of the only places in Europe to sample a taste. The majority of whisky produced here is used in blends like Johnnie Walker and Dewar’s.
Located just 20 minutes from Inverness, or 38 minutes from Nairn, the unique distillery offers an innovative, informative and engaging selection of guided tours, giving you the opportunity to sample the different whiskies and help develop your palate.
Afterwards, you then have the opportunity to explore the beautiful fishing village of the Black Isle peninsula and try to catch a glimpse of nearby dolphins.
6. Tomatin Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 38 min drive/28.5 miles
Producing whisky for blended drams, including their own Talisman and Antiquary, Tomotin is a distillery near Inverness Scotland which has been in operation since the late 1890s. Just a 25 minute drive from Inverness to Tomatin or a 38 minute drive from Nairn, this distillery would be a great option for those travelling to and from Inverness from the A9, as it is just a short 3-minute detour.
Its whisky tasting Inverness Scotland experience and tours lets you sample and fill your senses with its soft character and fruity notes, or purchase your own batch straight from the cask.
7. Cardhu Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 44 min drive/ 27 miles
This whisky distillery near Inverness was founded by a young married couple in the early 1800s, making it the only malt Scotch whisky to be pioneered by a woman, after the wife distilled the first gallon. Cardhu specialises in single malts with exceptionally smooth and mellow dramas, and were a key component in award-winning Johnnie Walker blends.
The distilleries near Nairn offer informative tours that give insightful details of the enchanting history behind Cardhu whisky.
8. Dalmore Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 46 min drive/35 miles
With over 150 years of distilling, Dalmore provides hand selected casks, world-famous bodegas and expertly curated wineries, in order to create their gorgeous layered flavourings. Due to COVID pressures they have decided to temporarily close their distillery to the public, however you can keep up-to-date on their reopening by visiting their official website.
9. The Macallan Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 52 min drive/31.9 miles
Just minutes from Cardhu distillery, take a whisky trail Inverness to one of the largest producers of whisky in Scotland, The Macallan. Founded by Alexander Reid on a plateau above the river Spey, the distillery near Inverness is surrounded by an impressive 484 acre estate. Driving from Inverness to Macallan distillery would take around 1hr 20 minutes, and only 53 minutes from our boutique hotel in Nairn.
Take The Six Pillar tour around the famously small stills and take the chance to sample four of Macallan’s most popular whisky blends. Then take an insight into the process, production, people and passion behind the special whisky. Booking in advance is advised and can hold up to 10 people at a time.
10. Glenmorangie Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 1 hour 3 min drive/49 miles
Experience the tallest still in Scotland at the arguably most famous distillery near Inverness. Under 50 miles from Nairn and 30 miles from Inverness to Glenmorangie distillery, where you can partake in an out-of-this world experience touring this distillery which has sat on the end of Dornoch Firth since 1843.
Choose between three tours and two tasting experiences, and get remarkable insights behind one of the first distilleries to experiment with different casks to mature whisky.
11. Balblair Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 1 hour 5 min drive/46.7 miles
To the North of Inverness, under 47 miles from Nairn, sits a unique distillery and modern visitor centre, which offers the opportunity to sample rare vintages. Experience the history behind the Balblair brand which was established as far back as 1790.
With a selection of three tours to choose from, you could get insights into the patience and dedication behind making this remarkable whisky. From the long 62 hour fermentation process to 4.5 hours of slow distillation, the approach behind this whisky would be truly mesmerising to see.
12. Dalwhinnie Whisky Distillery
Distance from Nairn: 1 hour 17 min drive/57.7 miles
Although Dalwhinnie is the furthest of our distilleries near Inverness; the distillery and location itself is definitely worth the journey. Located amidst towering mountains, this Highland whisky distillery is loved for its world-famous single malt dram, with its notes of heather honey, citrus and vanilla.
Its Inverness distillery tours will give you some insight into the art of distilling a world-famous Scotch whisky. At the end, you are even given an exclusive sample of two different whiskies expertly paired with indulgent chocolates, and the special opportunity to take home a Dalwhinnie whisky glass for free.
Then, combine your adventure with a visit to the Cairngorm National Park, which provides a section of outdoor activities and wildlife to discover, which can be enjoyed by all ages.
Retreat to Nairn