AIDAbella - VIP Highland Whisky Experience (ADULTS ONLY) - August 20th
Taste 15 unique Scottish Single Malts
Glen Ord Distillery (Exhibition and Tasting)
Dalmore Distillery (Tasting)
Lunch in Dornoch (various options available)
Glenmorangie Distillery (Distillery Tour and Tasting)
Balblair Distillery (Tasting)
Millionaires Viewpoint (Chocolate paired Whisky Tasting)
You will be met from the ship by your tour guide at the end of the pier at a pre-arranged time depending on your ship's arrival. The tour begins by following the coastal road along the Cromarty Firth and within minutes you will be passing Dalmore Distillery. The distillery isn't open until 10am so you'll be back later in the day to visit and taste whisky at this iconic distillery. Along the way you will have an opportunity to hear about the history of the area and find out a little more about your guide and their experiences living in the Scottish Highlands.
Then it's a short drive through the small neighbouring town of Alness with it's beautiful flower displays and quaint little shop fronts. On a clear day you will see Fyrish Hill in the distance crowned with the historic and beautiful Fyrish Monument. Next up is a drive through Dingwall, Maryburgh and Conon Bridge on your way to Muir of Ord the home of Glen Ord Distillery. Every tour with Invergordon Tours is different; we get to know you, you get to know us and our aim is to make sure you have a truly unforgettable day in the Scottish Highlands.
Glen Ord Distillery (founded in 1838 and currently owned by Diageo) is the last remaining distillery on the Black Isle and what makes it stand out is the fact they still malt their own barley, something which very few distilleries still do on site. Glen Ord actually produces enough malted barley to supply other distilleries within the Diageo brand. Two of our go to Diageo whiskies are the Lagavulin 16 and Oban 14yo both very different but very tasty whiskies. Recently we've been really enjoying the Lagavulin 2001 distillers edition and the Oban 2003 distillers edition. Glen Ord specialises in the Singleton of Glen Ord 12, 15 and 18, all available to taste along with many other whiskies from the extensive Diageo range.
The drive back to Dalmore Distillery over the Black Isle and across the Cromarty Firth features one of the best views in the area, taking in lost of Scottish Highlands scenery, rolling farmland and animals. Dalmore Distillery is instantly recognisable throughout the world because of its distinctive stag's head branding and a line up of whiskies to make any luxury brand weak at the knees. Their 12yr old has been a staple since Gavin was old enough to drink whisky and maybe even a wee bit before as it was the closest distillery to his family home with only 3 miles separating their front doors. This relationship has evolved over the years and where there used to be a 12yr old Dalmore now sits a bottle of the King Alexander III. If you're not familiar with this whisky (you will be by the time you leave) the King Alexander III is the product of a unique six cask finish (ex-bourbon casks, Matusalem oloroso sherry butts, Madeira barrels, Marsala casks, Port pipes and Cabernet Sauvignon wine barriques) it really shouldn't work, but it does. So very, very, well.
By this time of day it's usually time to give your palette a wee rest so we take a short drive over the Dornoch Firth and into Dornoch for lunch. There are lots of options but one of our favourites is the Royal Dornoch Golf Hotel which serves delicious Highland fare with spectacular views out over the world class golf course and beach. Whilst visiting Dornoch it would be rude not to drop by the Dornoch Castle Hotel which is home to one of Scotland's newest distilleries and one of the finest whisky collections in the Highlands. What's even better is that they're all on the menu and available to purchase by the dram. Sunny day? Then it's out to their gardens to enjoy a whisky in the sunshine or if it's a "wee bit chilly" then the castle bar is an extremely pleasant place to enjoy a fine single malt in the company of locals.
Barely 8 miles away sits the mighty Glenmorangie. Over the last 8 years Glenmorangie Distillery has slowly but surely worked its way into our whisky collection and now dominates with no less than 3 whiskies appearing in the line up. Glenmorangie Cadboll is the whisky we give to our guests who "don't like whisky" or as we prefer to say, "the people who haven't found the right whisky yet". Extra-matured in superior French barriques which previously held wines such as those of the Muscat and Sémillion grapes this cheeky little whisky goes down easy, really easy! We might even be as bold as to suggest dropping a couple of ice cubes in and enjoying this as a refreshing summer whisky. Some might call this heresy but our belief is that you can drink your whisky however you like whether that's with ice, in a cocktail or straight up as the distillery intended. A few drops of water? No problem! With some whiskies you'll find this develops the flavours and opens up the whisky allowing you to enjoy the full breadth of the flavour profile.
What's that you say, "More Whisky My Good Man!" well alrighty then lets make our way to Balblair Distillery for a wee taste and a chat with their very knowledgeable staff. One of Scotland's oldest distilleries, Balblair featured in the Ken Loach film The Angel's Share and is full of character. They also make some damn fine whisky and they're more than happy to share it with those who step through the orange door. You can also bottle your own whisky at Balblair from an ever changing single cask, a nice wee touch and a great memory of your time in Scotland.
It's almost the end of your day but not before we take you to one of our favourite views in Scotland for some whiskies from our private collection. It changes throughout the year as new bottles are released and old bottles are finished off with friends and family. Millionaires View (as it's known to the locals) is the perfect place to enjoy your last drams with Invergordon Tours and reflect on your VIP Highland Whisky Experience before being returned to your ship in good time for all aboard.
Even without the whisky tastings this tour is full of beautiful views throughout and will be a great experience whether your a whisky drinker or not.
So what are you waiting for? Book Now to avoid disappointment as spaces are extremely limited on our VIP Experience.