Greatest alcohol tasting tours in the UK
Whether you are a lover of fine wines, champagne, speciality brewed beers, or you prefer a good whisky or gin, the UK offers some of the greatest alcohol tasting tours around. Here are a few of the best on offer.
Many of the best UK distilleries now offer tours of their stills and cask rooms, where you will be guided by experts through the magical process that produces fine spirits.
The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland is one of the best distilleries to visit for a true taste of Scotch whisky. Dufftown lies between Aberdeen and Inverness, in the north-eastern Highlands of Scotland. Nestling on the banks of the rivers Fiddich and Dullan, it eats, sleeps and breathes fine whisky. At the Glenfiddich visitor centre, you can gaze in wonder upon the giant copper stills, see the great oak casks that hold the ageing spirits, and finally taste the smooth single malt whiskies that the distillery produces.
If you like a bit of history with your gin, the Black Friars Distillery in Plymouth offers both. It is reputed to be the oldest working gin distillery in England, with some of the buildings dating back to 1431. Their tour will take you through the process of distilling gin, after which you will be able to taste some of the final products. If you are left still wanting more, you can sip a cocktail at the Refectory Bar, housed in the ancient refectory where it is said the Pilgrim Fathers spent their last night in England before boarding the Mayflower.
It takes a lot to beat the image of sparkling wine or champagne served in the finest crystal champagne glasses, with beaded bubbles rising to the brim. The UK wine industry, although still relatively young, can now compete worldwide in the making of fine wines. It is delivering in terms of both taste and quality, with many international awards having already been won.
One excellent winery to visit is Chapel Down in Kent, one of the UK’s biggest wine producers. Their sparkling wines are of the highest quality, and their still wines are rich in taste. After the wine tour, you can take lunch on the terrace of the Swan Restaurant while you gaze across the Kent countryside sipping your fine English wine.
Some of the finest beer making traditions have grown up in the UK, and many of its speciality beers are of the finest quality.
To sample some of these, a good place to visit is Bath Ales in Bristol. The tour itself takes you through the brewing process and allows you to taste the various beers that they produce. The historic city of Bath is nearby and is well worth a visit to see the beautiful Regency buildings that can be found there.
Whatever your tipple, you can be sure to find something to suit your taste in the UK, whether your preference be fruit or barley, apple or hops.