5 of the world's surprisingly perfect locations for whisky (or whiskey!) tasting
There are few spirits in the world that perfectly capture the...well, spirit, of a particular destination. Amongst them, whisky is outstanding in its relationship to the geography of the location in which it is distilled. The qualities of the earth, air and water all combine to make each dram perfectly unique. When you drink a whisky, you're taking in the essence of a place.
That's what makes exploring whisky - or whiskey, depending on where you're drinking it - so much fun. Although everyone knows Scotland is the go-to place for quality whisky, there are many other places that make fantastic drams around the world. Many of them might even surprise you!
Let's take a look at some global destinations that are surprisingly good for whisky tasting.
The Hebrides, Scotland
Of course, Scotland simply has to be top of the list. However, most people would consider the highlands to be the number one place to go for whisky. It all depends on your taste of course, but we think you can find a more authentic experience out on the secluded isles of the Hebrides. The flavours here are smoky and sophisticated - a little rough around the edges, maybe, but that just adds to the authenticity. It captures the spirit of the islands perfectly. Check out the 5-Day Hebridean Hopper Tour over at Haggis Adventures for a visit to some of the areas best distilleries.
Nova Scotia, Canada
For generations, whisky in Canada was simply known as 'rye'. That's due to the huge amount of rye grains brewers would use to distil their spirits. This tradition brings a unique flavour to Canadian whisky that offers a different perspective for connoisseurs. For an excellent tasting experience, head to Nova Scotia - which actually means 'new Scotland' - and visit some of their salty, seaside distilleries. Check out the Glenora Distillery as well as Caldera Distilling - two staples of the region.
Oamaru, New Zealand
Kiwis have been quietly distilling whisky for hundreds of years. However, their wonderful brews have begun to earn the world's attention. This is in part due to the heroic efforts of The New Zealand Whisky Company, based in Oamaru. Their range captures the unique, volcanic qualities of the New Zealand Terroir and offers a surprising experience for anyone still sceptical about New Zealand whisky. You can visit Oamaru on our sensational New Zealand Uncovered tour.
Japanese whisky has taken the world by storm in recent decades. The country's crisp mountain air, pure water and engendered cultural perfectionism have made its top brands global sensations. If you want to sample the best of the best in a region that's exciting to visit, head over to Osaka prefecture. You can tour the world-famous Suntory Yamakazi distillery and check out some of Japan's most incredible sites at the same time.
Here's one we're sure will surprise you. This tiny island off the coast of Melbourne has the cool air and mountain waters that make for fantastic whiskey. The trouble was that nobody thought to brew any! It wasn't until 22 years ago that distillers started to take advantage of the perfect conditions. Today, Tasmania produces some of the most unexpectedly delicious whiskey in the world. You'll find micro-distillers all over this tiny island. However, we love to take visitors to the Hellyers Road Distillery on our Perfect Tasmania tour.
For more ways to explore New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania, take a look at our fantastic range of tours. There's a little something for everyone no matter what you like to drink.