Take a whisky tour by private jet charter
Whisky – or whiskey, depending on where you are in the world – has been a quintessentially British tipple for hundreds of years. Originating in the Scottish Highlands in the 15th Century, this golden elixir gets its name from the Gaelic Uisge Beatha (meaning Water of Life), and has become one of the world’s most beloved spirits. Today, fine whiskies are produced all around the world. If you’re a whisky connoisseur, you’ve come to the right place: join ACS as we discuss the best stops for your perfect whisky world tour.
The best whisky tasting and whisky tour experiences around the world
Whisky culture has spread around the world like wildfire. From the original Irish and Scottish malts, to the bourbons and ryes popularised in the United States, to more recent entrants as far afield as Japan and Sweden, some would argue that we’re living in the golden age of whisky. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best whisky tasting tours money can buy around the world.
Scotch whisky tasting and distillery tours
Single malt Scotch whisky is considered by many to be the definitive whisky tasting experience. Here’s our take on some of the finest distilleries to visit in Scotland:
Laphroaig, Port Ellen, Isle of Islay
Laphroaig is one of the best-known single malts and the only whisky in the world to bear the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales. Located in the picturesque Islay town of Port Ellen, Laphroaig takes its name from Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the isle, where its distillery still stands. If you’re considering a trip to Islay for your whisky tasting holiday, make sure to read up on the Friends of Laphroaig – a community of Laphroaig lovers from around the world. Being part of this exclusive club even grants you an honorary plot of land at the Laphroaig whisky distillery, so charter a private jet to the isle and see it for yourself.
Distillery tours at Laphroaig start at £10 per person; however pricier, more in-depth tours are available for the connoisseur. If you’d like to get a taste of the location before you book, check out the 360° virtual tour on their website.
For private jet charter flights to the Laphroaig distillery, you’d do well to arrive at Islay Airport, which is suitable for small props, light jets and airliners. A flight from London Luton Airport to Islay takes just over an hour in a light jet. A Cessna Citation XLS+ would get you and seven passengers there in style and luxury.
Glenfiddich, Dufftown, Banffshire
Glenfiddich is one of the most renowned whiskies and the world’s best-selling single malt. Founded in 1887, Glenfiddich is still a family-run business, with their distillery situated just half a mile north of Dufftown, the home of founder William Grant, in Speyside. The Glenfiddich distillery tour is one of the only places where you can witness the entire whisky-making process, from barley to bottle. Several tour options are available for amateurs and connoisseurs alike and booking is advised. The distillery also houses a restaurant with full service, so make sure to plan your tour around a mealtime for the best possible experience.
Charter a private jet to Inverness Airport to start your Speyside whisky tour in fitting style. A midsize jet like a Hawker Beechcraft 700 is capable of making the journey from London to Inverness for you and seven guests in a little over an hour.
Irish whiskey tasting and distillery tours
Ireland is home to some of the world’s finest whiskey distilleries. Here are some of our picks for the best the Emerald Isle has to offer:
Tullamore D.E.W. distillery, Tullamore, Offaly
Founded in 1829, the Tullamore D.E.W. was the first Irish whiskey distillery to produce a blended whiskey. While the original distillery closed in 1954, owners William Grant & Sons went to great lengths to reopen a distillery in Tullamore, which gives visitors an authentic taste of the nearly 200-year-old distillation process. Visitors can choose from three tour options of varying costs – the Ultimate Distillery Experience even includes the opportunity to create your very own blend of Tullamore.
Charter a private jet to Dublin International Airport and enjoy a drive through the picturesque Irish Midlands before arriving in Tullamore for the definitive Irish whiskey tasting experience. A very light jet like the Embraer Phenom 300 will make the trip from Liverpool John Lennon to Dublin International for a maximum of six passengers in just under half an hour.
Bushmills Distillery, Bushmills
The town of Bushmills, 60 miles from Belfast on the North Coast of Ireland’s Antrim County, is home to the country’s oldest working whiskey distillery. Bushmills has been producing its world-renowned whiskey on the same premises since King James I granted its license to distill in 1608. Interestingly, the distillery doesn’t draw its water from the River Bush it takes its name from, but rather a tributary called Saint Columb’s Rill.
To start your Irish whiskey tour in style, charter a private jet to Belfast Aldergrove International, which is a little over an hour’s drive from the Old Bushmills Distillery. Flying from Manchester International to Belfast Aldergrove takes 45 minutes in a turboprop such as the Beechcraft King Air 200, which can accommodate you and 10 guests with ease.
Whisky tasting and distillery tours around the world
Scotland and Ireland might be the homelands of fine whisky, but there are also some international distilleries well worth checking out:
Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Clermont, Kentucky, USA
Jim Beam makes some of the world’s most beloved bourbons and has only recently started offering distillery tours on its new premises. The Jim Beam American Stillhouse is located in Clermont, Kentucky, which is regarded as the birthplace of bourbon. There are a number of options for tastings and tours at the distillery, starting at $10 (approx. £7.50) per ticket. Guests are treated to the entire bourbon production process and even have the chance to get involved with mixing the grains and bottling their very own bottle of Jim Beam. Find out more and book a tour here.
Conrads Airport, just outside Louisville, Kentucky, is the perfect place to land if you’re visiting the home of bourbon for a tasting or distillery tour. Private jet charter from London Luton Airport to Conrads Airport takes a little over nine hours in a mid-size private jet, like the Bombardier Challenger 300, which can seat a maximum of nine passengers in comfort and luxury.
Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Japanese whiskies have earned their place on the world stage – and rightfully so. The Suntory Yamazaki opened as Japan’s first commercial whisky distillery in 1924 and remains one of the island nation’s most renowned whisky producers. Located a mere 35 minutes outside Kyoto in Osaka prefecture, the area surrounding the Yamazaki Distillery is known for the quality of its spring water, which has been the subject of many ancient Japanese poems, and the pristine springwaters of Mt. Tennozan are still used to this day in the distillation process. The distillery is also home to the Yamazaki Whisky Museum, which features a rich collection of the history of Japanese whisky distillery. Connoisseurs won’t want to miss out on this fascinating journey into the annals of Japanese whisky.
If you’re planning a whisky tour in Japan, Yamazaki should be the first stop on your itinerary. Charter a private jet to Osaka International airport and take either a short half-hour drive or an hour-long train journey to the Suntory Yamazaki distillery. An ultra long-range heavy jet like the Gulfstream G550 will take over 13 hours to fly from London Luton Airport to Osaka International Airport and can comfortably seat 16 passengers.
Wherever in the world your tastes take you, Air Charter Service can help you arrange the ideal jet and route for your needs. Get in touch on our website to find out more about us and hire a private jet.