Enthusiasm for distilled spirits is growing, and learning about the origins and manufacturing of favorite sips has become a goal for both collectors and curious travelers. Many global brands now offer a peek inside their operations. Here is a list of destinations where you’ll find distillery tours to add to your bucket list.
Bourbon Lovers Head To Kentucky
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail can top one million visitors per year. The state is packed with many venerable distilleries, and one visit may not be enough to cover them all. Among the must-see distillers in Kentucky are Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace, and Woodford Reserve. Delve into each distillery’s website for details on the tours they offer or visit the site for the Kentucky Bourbon trail to view a full rundown on tours and tastings of the state’s signature spirit.
Whiskey and Whisky
It’s Ireland for whiskey and Scotland for whisky—both feature legendary brands and gorgeous scenery. Ireland has its whiskey trail, and its website lists not only distilleries but pubs and whiskey bars as well. You won’t want to miss Dublin’s revitalized whiskey scene or skip out on a visit to Jameson and Kilbeggan in Ireland, and Bushmills in Northern Ireland.
Take the “e” out, and you’re talking Scotch. Scotland is divided into distinct whisky regions, each with spirits of their own style. A comprehensive Scotch whisky tour will take you throughout the mainland and to the famed island distilleries, including those on the Isle of Islay, for a taste of its signature peaty, smoky spirits. Visit Lindores Abbey, said to be the site of the first distillery in Scotland, dating from 1488 when a Friar made a batch of malt whisky for the King. In the Spey valley, discover the heart of the Scotch whisky industry. Here you’ll find Glenlivet and Glenfiddich and even a cooperage that makes the barrels in which the delectable spirits age.
Top Tequila comes from the city of that name in Jalisco, Mexico. A pilgrimage to the La Roheña distillery, maker of Jose Cuervo, is the natural starting place. Over 250 years old, the distillery is regarded as the first in the Americas. It produces several types of Tequila, including collectible reposados and añejos.
England and France
If gin is your spirit of choice, a trip to London’s Sipsmith or Chase Farm in the countryside of Hereford gives a great picture of England’s role in the gin business. Chase also makes vodka.
In addition to its renowned wines, France is the home of Hennessey Cognac, in the town of the same name, a half-day drive south of Paris. The distillery provides tours and tastings.
If traveling to these bucket list distillery destinations is a distant dream for either financial or health reasons, you can still experience the flavors of these places by ordering rare or specialty liquor online to enjoy at home, including hard to find tequila. These beverages will be the perfect accompaniment for researching your dream destination online.