Visiting a Distillery for the First Time? Here’s What You Need to Know

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By Ikram Ullah

Visiting a distillery is one of the activities you must include in your travel itinerary. It’s a lot of fun to experience this kind of unique adventure. If you’ve never visited a whisky distillery before, fret not because it’s just like going to a regular bar or engaging in proper wine tasting. They give you a quick short tour, and then you can sample their different products.

Some distilleries feature a sit-down bar area with an extensive food and cocktail menu, while others have a simple setup where you can taste their offerings. If you’ve never done this before, here’s what you need to know before you go.

Do Come Prepared

There are different kinds of distilleries from beer to whisky, so make sure you plan ahead and hit up the places you like. If you are going to a whisky joint, you and your companions’ stomachs must be ready for tasting straight hard liquor. Eat a full meal and ensure you have a designated driver after the tour.

You may need to make arrangements regarding your transportation ahead of time because driving home drunk is a big fat no. If you have a big group, call the distillery ahead to make arrangements. It would be best to visit during off-peak hours so they can accommodate and take care of your group.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Whisky distilleries love an engaged audience. Come prepared with questions about how things are made or what variants of a product they have. The host definitely wants an interactive audience who is eager to learn about their products. However, do note that some trade secrets cannot be divulged, so be respectful if some guides do not extensively answer your queries.

Speak Up About What You Like

The goal of the owner and team operating the whisky distillery is your happiness. They want you to have an awesome experience. Don’t be shy about speaking up. Tell them what you like and what your preferences are, so they can give you the sample tasting menu that would suit your palate. For instance, you hate everything spicy so they can steer you away from their version of ghost chilli whisky.

Always Be Polite and Courteous

Alcohol has a way of loosening your tongue. The last thing you want is an embarrassing incident in a new place because you’ve lost all your bearings. Remember, your objective here is to get a little taste of everything that they offer. So do taste but don’t “over sample” because you don’t want to get wasted and drunk.

It is important to remember that if you end up tasting something you don’t like, keep your reactions in check. It is totally impolite to say “yuck” or “gross” in front of your host and the other guests. Some people may actually like the product your taste buds rejects. If you want to be shown a lot of samples out of the barrels, then bring your best manners.

Show Your Appreciation

Most distilleries charge only a small tasting or tour fee. Sometimes, it doesn’t even cover the cost of the sample menu and their time to show you around the place. The tasting room is mainly there to sell you bottles. If you don’t find a spirit you like, then just buy the smallest bottle to give as a present to a whisky aficionado back home.

Most of all, tipping is a must to show your appreciation. If you tip your bartender, then it is necessary to give the tasting staff the same treatment, especially since they allotted a lot of time to accommodate you.

There are many distilleries around the world, so do your research if you are going on vacation. It is a gratifying experience to see first-hand how your favourite spirits are made. You can also get a chance to taste different distillery exclusives and limited releases that you may not be able to find elsewhere.

Author Bio: Rachel Alcott is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.

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