top of page

A Whisky Adventure in the Highlands Unlocking the Spirit of Scotland

On a recent cold winter’s day in February little did I know that I would embark on a journey to a nearby Distillery that would forever change my perception of Scotland's liquid gold and ignite an enthusiasm I was not certainly not expecting.   

Sadly through all the years on my journeys north to Helmsdale I had never taken the opportunity to visit this local Distillery in Brora, however as soon as I stepped into the world of Clynelish that February afternoon, I knew we were going to have an exceptional experience.   Some members of the Valhalla team, myself, Faith & Ian, were met and guided thorough the tour by the knowledgeable & entertaining Valerie, who transported us through time and tradition, embarking on an interactive and sensory exploration of Scotland's most famous spirit. 

The tour commenced with an informative dive into the distillery's rich history, intricately woven with tales of highland resilience and craftsmanship, complemented with Indiana Jones -esque intrigue with secret rooms, magic keys and hidden compartments.  As we delved deeper into the heart of Clynelish, Valerie's narrative transported us across centuries, weaving a tale of tradition and transformation. From the Duke of Sutherland's connection to the distillery to the illustrious backdrop of Dunrobin Castle, each chapter of Clynelish's history came to life, offering a glimpse into Scotland's storied past.  Clynelish, is one of the few distilleries across the Highlands established as part of the 'Highland Clearances’ and stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of its founders.  

In addition to the Clynelish Highland mystery story Valerie unveiled the rags to riches narrative of the Johnny Walker brand and the relationships built with other whiskies in the 4 corners of Scotland includeing Glenkinchie's Lowland gardens, Cardhu's Speyside orchards and Caol Ila's Islay coasts.  

As we embarked on the educational experience through the alchemy of whisky production; the vats of churning malted barley to the copper distillation stills and oak barrels needed for maturation each stage of the journey was a testament to Clynelish's dedication to excellence.  Tables of items are clearly laid out to understand the sequence of actions that create this amazing spirit.  

Culminating our tour was a tasting extravaganza, where we indulged in a curated selection of three whiskies and a signature cocktail in their stunning 1st floor bar. Set against the backdrop of the distillery's panoramic views of the North Sea, each sip was a symphony of flavours – a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation; from the fruity undertones, signature texture of oiliness, and delicate nuances of Clynelish's own expressions, each dram offered a glimpse into Scotland's diverse whisky landscape.  

As I bid farewell to Clynelish, its legacy lingered leaving an indelible imprint on my soul. Back at our Valhalla Rental, the memories of Clynelish continued to weave their magic, and I embraced the moment with a never before experienced afternoon dram to celebrate this new found appreciation.

This immersive whisky experience is a Tripadvisor 5 star experience and we can fully recommend this for our visitors.   The Clynelish Flavours tour we experienced is currently priced at £21 and is exceptional value for money offering 3 whiskies together with a Hi-ball whisky cocktail to enjoy.  Drivers are provided with an option too.

Tours can be booked through this link:

For 1st time tasters and those who claim they dislike the strength of whisky I can throughly recommend the Hi-ball cocktail which is an excellent introduction and sweeter on the palette for those a bit cautious.

Whisky Hi-Ball Cocktail Recipe

1 x 25ml serving of Clynelish whisky

1 x 25ml Elderflower cordial or amount to suit

Top with Soda and Ice

Remember to drink responsibly and enjoy!

With special thanks to Valerie and Hazel, our guide and contact at Clynelish, who assisted in organising this trip and were so helpful and informative.

Slàinte Mhath (pronounced Slanj-a-va)!



The History of Brora & Clynelish: Everything You Need To Know

Dunrobin Castle

Duke of Sutherland - Wikipedia

Clynelish Distillery – A Detailed History

Dunrobin Castle - Wikipedia

George Leveson-Gower, 1st Duke of Sutherland - Wikipedia


bottom of page