Tucked away deep in the highlands by the brooding and atmospheric Loch Naver is Altnaharra – a stunning getaway where you can be sure of peace and tranquillity. It is a haven for those who yearn for quiet, and attracts many tourists and anglers who come looking for serenity. However if you fancied branching out for a day or two why not let Altnaharra be your base and take a tour of the Highland’s greatest whisky distilleries.
Over on the rugged far eastern side of the mainland on the North Sea coast lies the beautiful town of Wick, and it is here you will find the world famous Old Pulteney distillery. Steeped in maritime tradition, this is really worth visiting if you fancy tasting some salty sea air and learning about a world class dram (recently given 97/100 by whisky guru, Jim Murray). The distillery was founded in 1826 during a fishing boom and before any roads or transportation links had been created. The history of this distillery, and town, is fascinating – but I won’t spoil it for you; check it out for yourself!
Originally built in 1819 (at a then massive cost of £750) Clynelish is the closest whisky distillery to Altnaharra and is located in the coastal holiday town of Brora. Visit the distillery, enjoy breath-taking views of the North Sea and try one of Clynelish’s lovely smoky malts. You can get a guided tour, a glass of Clynelish 14 and £3 off the price of a bottle of your choice all for a very tempting £6.
Located on the shores of the Firth of Cromarty, Dalmore have been producing their exceptional, rich, amber malts since 1839 and are instantly recognisable for their iconic ‘stag’s head’ emblem – an innovation of the distilleries original owners, the Clan Mackenzie. Glowing copper stills will greet you on the tour, and you can expect to be wowed by the skill and expertise used to create this fine whisky. Bookings can be made online and Dalmore advise to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Scotland is singularly unique for its production of whisky; there is literally nowhere else in the world where you fill find such a concentrated network of distilleries. Steeped in tradition and rich in history, come and see for yourself why they call it the ‘water of life’.