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Need advice for solo female traveler visiting distilleries..

 
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ehimw
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:25 am    Post subject: Need advice for solo female traveler visiting distilleries.. Reply with quote

Hello All,

I would very much appreciate advice on visiting Scotland/Distilleries tours. I very recently had a significant life change and have decided I will no longer put off the trip that I have always dreamed of - Scotland. I am an absolute lover of single malt scotch and figure this will likely be my only chance to visit Scotland by myself and really spend time visiting/tasting the scotch I love so much. Some of my favorites are Oban and Ardbeg (specifically Uigeadail is my go-to favorite), but I'm very open to trying anything at least once (and hopefully more than that).

I have no requirements and would love to hear what anyone believes would be the best way to spend two weeks traveling across Scotland and consuming scotch. I can pretty much go any time of year but will likely have to wait for at least a year from now to travel. I'm a planner so any help pointing me in the right direction regarding website, research would be very appreciated!

I am a 35 year old female and will be traveling by myself for this trip from Oregon, USA.

Thank you and hope you'll share your experience with me.

Best,

Carrie
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Calder
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest you head to Islay for 5 to 7 days of your trip, you can fly there from Glasgow airport and hire a car on Islay where you can take in Ardbeg. as well as all the other Islay distilleries. Fly back to Glasgow then you can take in the west coast distilleries such as Glengoyne, Deanston then perhaps on to Tullibardine before heading for Speyside where you will find the biggest concentration of distilleries.

As for time of year to visit there is an Islay Festival which lasts for 1 week, it is very popular so you have to book accommodation on the island far in advance. There is also a Speyside Festival which IMO is a great time to visit Speyside.
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ehimw
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Calder! This is very helpful and will allow me to start the planning process. Is it fairly easy to drive around Scotland?
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Alexppp
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to remember if you plan to drive is you won't be able to sample the whisky at the distilleries. Also, the roads to the distilleries will be significantly narrower than the ones you're used to in the USA, and combined with the fact that we drive on the other side of the road it may not be your idea of a relaxing drive! Just a thought...
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IndianaBlues
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexppp wrote:
...combined with the fact that we drive on the other side of the road it may not be your idea of a relaxing drive! Just a thought...


That won't be a problem on some of the single-track roads though Smile

It might be worth finding some of the distilleries you'd like to visit on Google Maps then using Streetview to have a look at some of the roads you'll need to go on to get to them. My wife's American and she flat-out refuses to drive when we visit, but it becomes second nature after a while.

Alex was right about drinking though, in Scotland they've reduced the drink-drive limit to almost 0, even the morning after you have to be very careful, however driving is by far the easiest way to get around. I've often wondered about taking some 5cl bottles with me and asking if they'd pour my "taster" in for later, not sure if they'd accommodate that or not but might be worth asking.

Also a point to note is that the Classic Malts distilleries do a free pass into their distilleries here:

https://www.malts.com/en-gb/friends-of-the-classic-malts/

It used to be that you had to pay to get into the first and get into the others for free, but it looks like you don't even have to do that any more.
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Alexppp
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IndianaBlues wrote:

Alex was right about drinking though, in Scotland they've reduced the drink-drive limit to almost 0, even the morning after you have to be very careful, however driving is by far the easiest way to get around. I've often wondered about taking some 5cl bottles with me and asking if they'd pour my "taster" in for later, not sure if they'd accommodate that or not but might be worth asking.
.


Glengoyne do offer mini-bottles to drivers (I don't remember Deanston doing it, but then again I'm sure they'd be happy to oblige), so I imagine other distilleries would have that arrangement - it's only common sense after all.
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ehimw
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much to everyone for this information! I have a lot to think about and plan for now which is going to be a lot of fun. Seems like it would be worthwhile to budget for a driver so I can really enjoy the experience-
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sorren
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2016 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you would have a problem with pouring your drama into a sample bottle, most distilleries expect it these days, drivers and of course the bloggers all want to take samples away, I'd look for small 2-3cl bottles, most offerings are 1-2 cl so a 5cl bottle is easily big enough.. If you visit speyside you could get accommodation central then you only need a taxi for the likes of Glenfiddich, aberlour, balvenie, Glenfarclas and a good few more.. If you fancy balvenie then ring well in advance to book your.. It is £35 but well worth it.. Don't overlook Tomintoul, this is a great tour and again needs to be booked.. I book the balvenie at least 2-3 months in advance.. Hope you get over and enjoy the trip ..
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