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Traveling The Whiskey Trails Of The World

If your looking for something new to do on your next vacation, or perhaps something to plan your vacation around, why not look at one of the many whisk(e)y and bourbon trails that are becoming increasingly popular?

Let’s say you’re planning a visit to the American south. Some fans of Tennessee whiskey have put together a trail that includes some thirty-one distilleries in several parts of the state, ranging from the scenic landscape of Pigeon Forge to the music city of Nashville.

The trail includes the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg and the George Dickel site nearby as the large production companies. Alongside them are several small craft companies including Corsair and The Gatlinberg Barrelhouse.

Of course, with a trail that large it doesn’t veer far from every major attraction in Tennessee. From the historic towns of Gatlinberg and Piegon Forge to Nashville with the Grand Ol’ Opry. Even Graceland in Memphis is not far from one of the distilleries on the list.

image via Kentucky Distillers' Association
image via Kentucky Distillers’ Association

Perhaps your more into Kentucky bourbon than Tennessee whiskey. The immensely popular Kentucky Bourbon Trail includes nine of the largest names in Kentucky boubon production, all within a day’s trip from Louisville. Along with the main trail are a craft bourbon focused option as well as a so called “urban bourbon” trail.

The main trail runs through the middle of the state, which places you not far from the horse farms and stables that, housing many former and future possible Kentucky Derby winners, make for very scenic viewing. The urban bourbon trail, meanwhile, is not so much a tour of distilleries but of the Louisville downtown area itself, taking you through historic restaurants and bourbon bars.

Each of these three trails offer a passport that, when marked with the stops you make, offer a gift on completion. The main trail and craft trail offer a t-shirt, while the urban bourbon trail offers a mint julip cup.

Perhaps a further abroad adventure is what you seek. The island of Tasmania, in Australia, has had a booming whisky business since the early 1990s. With the cleanest air in the world and a surplus of pure water springs distilleries have been springing up all over.

Most of the distilleries here are within range of Hobart, the capital city, and one in the northern part of the island. After a day touring the local stills and barrel houses the local culture and scenery has much to offer. The city of Hobart, for example, has a world class small orchestra that plays year round. And, is home to the second oldest Bontanical Gardens in Austraila.

Okay, now for lovers of whisky out of the British Isles, here are two trails you’ve probably been waiting for. First, a tour of Speyside in Scotland and nine local distilleries. 

If you’re into malt Scotches than to the area of Speyside you should definitely plan as a great place to visit. The malt whisky trail incluedes GlenFiddich and Glenlivet. Also, Speyside Cooperage, a cooperage that supplies many barrels to distilleries across the world. This area also has golf, castles and plenty of other activities to keep the whole family entertained for extended stays. 

For the last trail in this line up there’s the Ireland Whiskey Trail. This trail encompasses nearly the entire country and has stops at several major distilleries, historic pubs and top whisky shops. 

On this list are the Jameson and Tullamore Dew Distilleries, along with pubs and restaurants that serve the best Irish whisky and Irish cuisine. The trail takes you to the cities of  Dublin, Galway and Cork, while also giving you the freedom to venture out and explore the castles, ruins and landscape.

The information for all these trails can be found in the links below.

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Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Dan Sampson

I’ve always been a bit of a foodie, which translated into drinks when I turned twenty-one. A few years ago, a friend got me into top shelf whiskey and my interest snowballed from there. I still enjoy drinking Jack Daniels when the chance arrives, but my favorite whiskeys are rye and Scotch.

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