Join us on a luxury whisky tour and discover the flavor distinctions between whiskies made in different corners of the world. Experience whisky in its homeland, and learn how the craft has grown and developed further afield.
At Wine Paths, we create unforgettable tasting holidays to awe-inspiring locations. If you’re interested in learning more about whisky (or whiskey in Ireland and the US), we have a number of tours that will inspire you.
Awaken your senses with beautiful flavors, interesting textures and a whole range of tasting notes, ranging from elegant and floral to rich and spicy or even salty with a maritime character. Not only does whisky taste different depending where in the world you are, but within its international categories, you will also find fascinating regional variations. For the connoisseur or beginner, there are so many wonderful bottles to try on tour with us.
On our luxury tasting holidays, we journey you back to the original homes of whisky distillation, Scotland and Ireland. Delve deep into the Highlands or traverse the rugged Irish Coast and immerse yourself in local culture while sampling the finest gastronomy paired with your favorite tipple.
Medieval monasteries used distillation as a method to create alcohol with medicinal properties, often to treat colic and smallpox. This was particularly prominent in Italy during the 13th Century. The art of distillation was brought to Scotland and Ireland by the monks, and by the 15th Century alcohol was being distilled from wine, a common European practice known as "aqua vitae". This, at the time, was also for medicinal purposes, and was being done in monasteries across Great Britain.
Between 1536 and 1541, King Henry VIII of England dissolved all monasteries, and whisky production came to a short pause. Eventually, distilling evolved and became something that people did at home and this is how the whisky trade began. Back then, distillation had not been refined and whisky was very potent. Over time, the spirit developed into a much smoother drink.
In 1608, Ireland started to produce whiskey at a commercial level, and the Old Bushmills Distillery was the first licensed distillery to make the spirit for official trading. It is now the oldest distillery in the world.
Centuries later in the 1800s, European colonist began to arrive in America, and the Scottish and Irish immigrants brought with them the art and skill of distilling. And this began a new era of American whiskey, made from various grains and mash available across different territories.
There is no better place to sample the finest whisky than its home in Scotland, with exceptional tasting experiences in the remote Highlands region where traditional distilleries have been around for centuries. Similarly, our whiskey tours in Ireland will take you to some of the oldest distilleries in the world.
What’s rather interesting about Scottish whisky is the huge variation in flavor and texture. On a Highlands whisky tour, you will get to know the sub-regions where whisky is made. These include parts of the Southern Highlands with their light and fruity single malts, and also the West Highlands with their spicy iodized single malts. We offer tours to Islay and Jura with rare whisky tasting and masterclasses, a special whisky and castle tour experience with unbelievable landmarks such as Glamis Castle and Dunvegan Castle, or a single malt package that includes multiple distillery visits and a trip to Loch Ness.
Irish whiskey is made in accordance to the practices of the Scottish distilleries, and the art of triple distillation is reserved for Irish distilleries like Bushmills and Midleton. Our tours will journey from Dublin and along the Atlantic Coast, to Kilkenny and Ireland’s ancient east, or along the West Coast for a culinary adventure.
Another variety of whiskey that is popular with aficionados is bourbon, a form of whiskey that is only produced in the US, primarily in the Deep South. Made from mashed up corn, bourbon takes its inspiration from Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey but is much sweeter in flavor. Find out more about our bourbon tasting holidays.
At Wine Paths, we can tailor any tour package to suit your preferences. We understand that not everyone is a connoisseur when it comes to whisky. Whether you’re a novice or a spirit aficionado who has experienced tasting tours before, our guides can ensure you have an unforgettable time.
We take our clients to stunning locations in Scotland and Ireland, giving them access to the best, oldest and most prestigious distilleries and cellars in the world. Our aim is to make whisky tasting fun and accessible to anyone who is passionate to learn more, while adding things like fine dining, food pairing and sightseeing for a memorable trip.
Find out more about our Scotch whisky holidays or our Irish whisky tours and let us create a bespoke travel package for you and your travel group. Whether you want cozy rural beauty or city chic, a luxury train tour or castle stay, we can help you design the perfect getaway.
Why are the spellings for whisky different in Scotland and Ireland?
Whisky without an ‘e’ or whiskey with an ‘e’ has been the basis of many debates over the years. But these spellings derive from translations of the Scottish and Irish Gaelic respectively.
What are the flavor distinctions between Scottish whisky and Irish whiskey?
Scotch whisky not only drops the ‘e’ from its spelling, but it is also made differently. Generally, Irish whiskey is produced by vatting, while Scotch whisky is produced by blending. When it comes to taste, Scottish whisky varieties are fuller and heavier in flavor while Irish whiskey.
What are the flavor distinctions between whiskey and bourbon?
Bourbon is a type of whiskey made only in the US, and from mashed up corn. In terms of flavor, there are variations in both categories. But generally, bourbon is much sweeter and will often display notes of toffee, cinnamon and vanilla.