If you're wanting to visit a Glasgow whisky distillery but not sure where to go, then you must read our Best Distillery Tours Near Glasgow Guide. We've done the research and have come up with the optimal strategies, whether you're planning to drive yourself, catching public transport, or simply wanting to join an organised tour. We've even included a list of online tastings and samples you can buy to do virtual tours and tastings at home. For the best distillery tours near Glasgow (and a selection of spirits to try), read on!
COVID-19 has caused significant changes to many distilleries' operation and tour schedules. We endeavour to ensure the information on this website is accurate; however, due to the unpredictable nature of COVID outbreaks, information may change at short notice. Please check the distillery's website before you go as (see links in the distillery profiles below). Also see our section on "We're In Lockdown and We Can't Go Anywhere!" for details on virtual / at home tastings.
Even in 'normal' times, we recommend that you book in advance to avoid disappointment or avoid long wait times. The booking links and phone numbers for each distillery are below. While you can sometimes drop in, distilleries are becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, and tours often sell out days in advance.
Please check the distillery's website for opening hours and tour times as they change throughout the year. The times listed below were accurate at the time of writing.
Dogs, Children and Distillery Tours
Dogs are generally not allowed in the production areas of distilleries, so don’t plan to bring your dog on a distillery tour (other than guide dogs or special assistance dogs).
Each distillery has a different policy on the age or number of children that can be taken on a distillery tour or be present during a tasting; please check the distillery's website or call ahead to confirm whether your child/children can join you. A quick summary for distilleries near Glasgow:
- Glenturret Distillery and Clydeside Distillery do permit children to accompany their parents on a distillery tour
- Tullibardine Distillery do not permit children under the age of 5 years on tours | Children over 5 years old only.
- Deanston Distillery do not permit children under the age of 8 years on tours | Children over 8 years old only.
Accessibility / Wheelchair Access
Only a few distilleries near Glasgow are wheelchair accessible/suitable for those with mobility impairments as they are generally older distilleries with narrow walk ways and stairs. There are more Wheelchair Accessible distilleries near Edinburgh, as there are more newer distilleries in that area (see our Best Distillery Tours Near Edinburgh Guide).
Contact the distillery directly if you have any questions. Also have a look at Euan's Guide - a purpose built website that makes it easier for disabled people to find great places to go.
- Clydeside Distillery is wheelchair accessible and have accessible toilets on site, and they offer a free ticket to carers.
- Auchentoshan Distillery are also wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets - for more information see Auchentoshan's Euan's Guide Profile.
- Glenturret Distillery is partially wheelchair accessible (the mash tun and tun room are via stairs), with an accessible toilet and disabled parking spaces - see Glenturret's Euan's Guide profile for more information.
- Tullibardine Distillery and Deanston Distillery are not wheelchair accessible.
But I Don’t Want To (Or Can’t) Drive!
The following distilleries are within roughly 90 minutes of Glasgow on public transport. Some light walking may be required. Click on the link for each distillery to open in google maps – from google maps you can utilise the public transport directions feature from your exact location.
- Auchentoshan Distillery (bus)
- The Clydeside Distillery (walk, bus, train)
- Glengoyne Distillery (bus)
- Deanston Distillery (bus, or train and bus)
- Edinburgh Gin Distillery (bus or train)
- Holyrood Distillery (bus or train)
If it all seems too hard, Rabbie’s Tours offer a number of organised group tours to various distilleries in Scotland.
Loch Lomond & Glengoyne Whisky Distillery Tour: Half-Day Trip from Glasgow to Glengoyne Distillery and Loch Lomond National Park (one of my favourite parts of Scotland) from £19 per person. Click here for further information and to book the Loch Lomond & Glengoyne Distillery Half Day Tour from Glasgow.
Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Whisky Distillery Tour: full (1) day tour that includes Stirling Castle in addition to Glengoyne Distillery and Loch Lomond from £33 per person. Click here for further information and to book the Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Glengoyne Distillery Tour.
We're In Lockdown and We Can't Go Anywhere
Build Your Own Tasting
Tasting sets are a fantastic way of sampling different whiskies from Scotland and the rest of the world - generally sized at a reasonable 3cl (30ml), try new styles, new regions, new countries.
We’re Driving – Road Trip!
Oh, the freedom of the open road! You have your pick of distillery tours near Glasgow and quite a few options for how to get there. These maps are designed to be interactive – click on the square frame icon top right of the map to open it in a new browser (‘view larger map’). Modifying the routes is easiest on your computer, not your mobile phone, however, if you’ve only got a mobile device, you can import the destination pins into Google Maps and use the directions features to get the best routes. Click here for more information on how to use the maps on this page.
I’ve chosen the following route from Glasgow as all of the distilleries are open seven days with regular tours. I highly recommend you pre-book your visit times at least a day or two in advance. Tours often book out, especially on weekends and during peak holiday times, and you don’t want to drive all that way and miss out. Most distilleries have online booking options.
There are only so many distillery tours you can do in a day. I recommend you pick your favourite TWO.
By all means, drop by other distilleries, have a look, do a tasting or grab yourself a bottle to take home, but if you’re trying to do more than two distillery tours, you’re going to be pushing for time. The routes below are 3 hours and 4 hours of driving excluding all other activities. If you allow two tours, you’re already at 5-6 hours for today minimum. Most distilleries run tours between 10 am and 4 pm (last tour at 4 pm), but this varies depending on the time of year (most close earlier Nov – Mar). Remember to consider this when you’re picking your destinations, and prepare for a long day.
If you like long lunches, you’ll probably need to skip a tour. You don’t need to do a tour to visit the distilleries and do a tasting though.
If you want to see where the magic happens, however, (stills, mash tuns, warehouses), then a tour will be required.
Hot Tip For the Designated Driver: most distilleries will permit you to ‘take away’ your tasting dram.
Many distilleries provide glass bottle miniatures for this purpose (Clydeside, Glenturret, Edinburgh Gin) and some will provide little plastic containers. Always ask and see if you can do ‘take away’ or ‘take home’ samples. In case they don’t have any suitable ‘take away’ vessels, stop by a pharmacy/chemist shop and see if you can buy a ‘sample’ container. Yes, it’s a urine/specimen sample container! Don’t worry as they’ll be sterile and the screw top lids are perfect for keeping whisky safe because they don’t leak.
Another option is to buy some glass screw top containers before you go - the glass wont react with the alcohol, although, being glass, it is more susceptible to being broken if dropped or knocked.
Glasgow Distillery Tour Map
Map pins shown in black are distilleries not open to the public. They’re on the map as you might want to take a photo if you’re going past. Keep in mind though that some are simply massive industrial ‘whisky factories’ and might not be worth the trip. A quick google image search should give you a good indication of what to expect.
Visits to distilleries with map pins shown in orange are by appointment only.
Distilleries with green pins are open to the public, and you can visit without an appointment. However, I suggest you book anyway.
Not A Distillery
There are also a couple of ‘not a distillery’ points of interest on the maps. These are by no means exhaustive, just some key attractions you may wish to visit while on your spirited adventures. If you are looking to visit a few abbeys and castles, you might be interested in the Visit Scotland Explorer Pass, as one ticket will get you entry into over 70 Historic Scotland venues.
I’ve also noted the distilleries that have on-site cafes. These are useful for a coffee break, a light lunch, and if you’ve got fellow travellers who aren’t so keen on doing yet another distillery tour.
Glengoyne Distillery was established in 1883 and has been operating ever since (uncommon for a distillery in Scotland as most have closed at least once since they opened).
The distillery is in the Highlands while its warehouses, directly across the road, are considered the Lowlands (which just shows how silly the regional classifications can be when pondering whisky 'styles').
Why is it one of the best distillery tours near Glasgow? Glengoyne is at the foot of Dumgoyne Hill – they’re a lovely distillery in a stunning location and only a half hour drive from Glasgow.
They have three stills (one wash and two spirit stills, which is relatively unusual, as most distilleries have a ‘pair’ of wash and spirit stills – Springbank and Talisker also have uneven numbers though).
Glengoyne whisky is always unpeated, though they have at times experimented with maturation in casks that previously contained peated spirit.
Glengoyne Distillery Shop will re-open on Monday 5th April and Distillery Tasting Experiences will resume on Monday 17th May. Advanced bookings are essential.
The Glengoyne Distillery Shop is open 7 days from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Group discounts are available. For groups of 10 or more bookings are essential.
Bookings are highly recommended for all visits as Glengoyne receives over 50,000 visitors a year.
Glengoyne Tasting Experience (3 Drams)
- £25 per person, taste 3 whiskies, 60 minutes duration
- 2 x 50ml measures of Glengoyne (one of which will be the 18 year old) plus a 'wild card' mystery whisky from one of Glengoyne's more limited edition releases. All whiskies are served in closed containers for you to pour yourself or to take home if you wish to enjoy later (especially handy for the designated driver).
- During the tasting they’ll explain the journey their spirit makes, from grain to mashtun, into the washbacks then on to the swan-necks of their copper stills - how they capture every ounce of flavour before they send the spirit to the cask for maturation.
- Book your Glengoyne Tasting Experience online
online virtual tasting
- £35 per person and lasts 60 minutes
- Tasting kits contain a Glencairn Glass and 50ml bottles of Glengoyne 10 Year Old, 12 Year Old & 18 Year Old malts, as well as a specially selected mystery dram which will be revealed during the tasting. UK residents only.
- Book your Glengoyne Virtual Tour/Tasting online
Presently the only distillery in Scotland to triple-distill everything. Auchentoshan was set up to serve the Irish immigrants living in Glasgow in 1823, which is why it is more of an Irish style whisky than a Scottish one.(5) In 1941 a warehouse was hit by a bomb during the Clyde Blitz, which sent a stream of flaming whisky into the Clyde river. The distillery pond is made from one of the bomb craters.(4)
Booking and enquires online or phone +44 (0) 1389 878 561
For information on disability access, read the Auchentoshan profile on Euan's Guide.
Clydeside Distillery laid their first casks down in December 2019; Clydeside whisky should be available from 2021.
Clydeside Distillery is wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets on the ground and first levels and lifts between each level available. They also offer carer admissions free of charge with an adult/concession ticket - get in touch with Clydeside Distillery to book this with your standard entry. They have a comprehensive Accessibility Guide (pdf) available from their website.
Children are welcome in the distillery and on tours as long as an adult accompanies them at all times.
- £15 per person and lasts 60 minutes.
- This 3-part tour includes a "Discover the Dockside Story" self guided educational experience, a professionally guided distillery tour and three tastings at the end of the distillery tour including Clydeside's own new-make spirit.
- Maximum 20 people per tour.
- Tour runs hourly from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Designated drivers will be provided with Drivers Drams to take away and enjoy at home
Chocolate and Whisky Tour
- £28 per person and lasts 90 minutes.
- This tour includes the self guided "Discover the Dockside Story", a professionally guided tour of the distillery, and five 10ml drams of Single Malt Whisky each carefully paired with Sugar Wings of Glasgow chocolate.
- Maximum 6 people per tour.
- Tours run daily at 15:30 and 16:30. Bookings essential, subject to availability
Deanston Distillery began life as a cotton mill in 1785. The Mill's success led to an increased need for labour and housing, and in 1808 the owners built accommodation for 300 workers, creating a self-contained village that still forms the centre of modern-day Deanston.
By the mid-1960s, the UK cotton industry's value had declined severely, and the Mill closed in 1965. However, in 1974 the doors were re-opened, with the building converted into what is now the Deanston Distillery. The River Teith had previously been utilised to power the Spinning Mill and Weaving Shed machinery; the original lade now directs the water to the distillery for use in production and powering the turbines.
There is a cafe on site – The Coffee Bothy and the distillery shop is open seven days all year, from 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Why is it one of the best distillery tours near Glasgow? They have an open-topped mash tun!!
Children 8 years old or under are not permitted to join the distillery tour and/or warehouse experiences.
virtual / online tastings
Deanston currently offer online/virtual tastings (via Zoom and for UK residents only due to the need to ship samples) starting at £50 for a 'Blind Tasting' of 5 different Deanston Whiskies. Or, why not take the opportunity to try some whisky from the Deanston Old and Rare collection for £95, which includes Deanston 8yo Bordeaux at 57.6%, Deanston 20yo Port Finish at 54.2%, Deanston 10yo PX Finish at 57.5%, Deanston 21yo Palo Cortado at 51.8% and the Deanston 40yo at 45.6% abv. Tasting packs are available to order online.
DEANSTON Distillery Tastings At Home
This set includes a tasting glass, and a 3cl (30ml) sample bottle of each of the following: Deanston Virgin Oak, Deanston 18 Year Old, Deanston 12 Year Old Signatory Unchillfiltered Collection, Deanston 1995 Oloroso Cask and Deanston 2002 Marsala Cask.
Glenturret Distillery is likely the oldest distillery still operating in Scotland. Rental documents from 1763 refer to Thurot Distillery, the earliest known name for Glenturret [ref]. Glenturret has been known by several names over the years, including The Hosh Distillery (1814 to 1873). It was promoted as 'The Famous Grouse Experience' until the distillery changed ownership in 2019. It is now back to being simply Glenturret Distillery.
Why is it one of the best distillery tours near Glasgow? You will get to see one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, and they have Tullibardine’s old open-topped HAND STIRRED mash tun. I’d stop by just to see that, but then, I do love my open-topped mash tuns.
There is an on-site cafe; the Glenturret Cafe is open daily from 10 am – 6 pm
Glenturret Distillery is open seven days. Tours run hourly and start at 10.30 am. The last tour is at 4:30 pm April – October, and at 3:30 pm November – March. Tours are limited to 25 persons per tour group. Tours can be booked online up to 48 hours in advance. Tours and tastings are in English. However, translation sheets are available if requested.
Children are allowed to accompany their parents on distillery tours, with the condition (per Glenturret's FAQ section) that "if children are disruptive on tour, we will kindly ask that they and their family step out of the experience. We additionally cannot allow prams and pushchairs through the production areas, however, we can look after these in our reception area for you to collect after your tour. The shop and restaurant areas of the distillery are all accessible for prams and pushchairs."
For online bookings click here or email [email protected] or telephone +44 (0) 1764 65 65 65. For information on disability access, read Glenturret Distillery's profile on Euan's Guide.
Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience
- £11.00 per person, duration 45 minutes
- Includes one tasting of Glenturret Whisky and each visitor is presented with a branded gift on arrival, along with a £5.00 gift voucher to spend in The Glenturret Shop
- Book your Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience Online
gLENTURRET Distillery Tasting At Home
Independent bottling of Glenturret 15 yo whisky. 'Old Particular' spent its entire 15 years of maturation in a single sherry puncheon. A limited 344 bottles were released for the Old Particular series at 48.4% ABV. Available as a 3cl (30ml) sample from Master of Malt.
Glentturet's 2020 Maiden Release (since the new owners and no longer part of Famous Grouse), matured in European oak casks for more than a decade, creating notes of orange, apricot, oak spice and vanilla throughout the palate.
The Tullibardine site has been a brewery since the 1400s and acquired a Royal Charter in 1503 to provision King James IV with beer (the same chap who was getting Lindores Abbey to distil Aqua Vitae). The distillery was established much more recently, in 1949 by famous distillery designer William Delme-Evans. Tullibardine was the first distillery built in Scotland since 1900.
Tullibardine underwent a refit in the late 1950s, and Glenturret purchased their original 1949 mash tun and washbacks. (1) Tullibardine is a modern distillery in a convenient location for tourist groups, and as such, they often book out, so make sure you book your tour well in advance.
- £9 per person and lasts 45 minutes.
- The price includes two tastings of Tullibardine at the end of the distillery tour.
- The cost is only £7 per person with a group of 10 or more
tULLIBARDINE Distillery Tasting At Home
A set for four miniature 5cl (50ml) bottles of Tullibardine whisky, including Tullibardine Sovereign, Tullibardine 225, Tullibardine 228 and Tullibardine 500.